Two days after a group of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party supporters raised slogans of ‘Biplab Hatao, BJP Bachao’ in front of party observer Vinod Sonkar, Chief Minister Biplab Deb Tuesday asked people of the state to gather at Astabal Grounds here on Sunday (December 13) and give their mandate on whether he should stay at the top post. “If people want me to go, I shall tell my party high-command likewise and leave,” he told reporters.
Deb’s comments came in the midst of high drama over last two days, with some party workers seeking his removal during Sonkar’s visit here. The BJP observer later claimed all is well in the state’s ruling party and its support base has only grown stronger.
In October this year, a group of dissident BJP MLAs led by former health minister Sudip Roy Barman, visited Delhi to talk with party president JP Nadda, reportedly to seek Deb’s removal. However, the legislators later said they went to discuss organisational issues.
On Tuesday, Deb said he doesn’t harbour any wish to stay in power and would wait for peoples’ mandate on December 13 at Astabal Grounds. “I want to hear from the people if they want me to be removed. I shall go to Astabal Maidan on next Sunday, December 13 at 2pm. I invite everyone to come and tell me whether I should go or stay. I shall ask 37 lakh people of Tripura to tell me what to do. I shall abide by whatever mandate you give for me and place my wish likewise before my party high command that people of Tripura wanted so,” he said.
An emotional Deb said he has got more than he asked for and the people of Tripura “blessed” had him with the chance to serve as a legislator and Chief Minister, something he never dreamt of. “I want to work for everyone, irrespective of religion, caste, colour or any other identity. My only passion is to turn Tripura into the best state of the country.”
Deb said he was pained by the sloganeering at the State Guest House. “So, I want to know if everyone feels the same way. If yes, I shall do likewise and leave,” he said.
The CM claimed since he assumed charge of the state on March 9, 2018, Tripura has gone ahead with fastest pace among all states of NE India. “People reposed their faith in Narendra Modi, BJP and me. Accordingly, we have been working on a host of developmental activities including HIRA, HIRA Plus, educational development, infrastructural development with Rs. 11,000 crore project under NHIDCL, SEZ at Sabroom, ICP, Logistics Hub, High rise buildings, smart city, new airport, agricultural growth etc. I want to work more,” Deb said. Claiming he works day and night with what he calls ‘Modi Mantra’, the CM said his government doesn’t subscribe to the style of ‘unsystematic’ governance going on in the erstwhile Left era.
However, Deb warned that if he stayed in power, he would crack down on criminal and illegal activities. “If someone wants to do mafia style hooliganism, illegal land brokerage, engage in illegal works, I shall never compromise with them. Never,” he warned.
He also asked the people to ‘decide’ what should be done with those who raised slogans against him. “If you want me to stay, you decide what should be done with people who raised those slogans. I shall uphold whatever you decide.”
The BJP and its tribal alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) together won 44 out of 60 seats in the state legislative assembly, decimating the erstwhile Left Front regime of 25 years.
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