Agartala, May 14 : In a sudden political development, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from his post on Saturday, top officials said.
Accompanied by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Central Observer Vinod Sonkar and other leaders, Deb went to the Raj Bhavan on Saturday afternoon and submitted his resignation to Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya.
An important meeting in the presence of the central leaders is now underway at the official residence of Deb to choose the new BJP legislative party leader.
Party sources told IANS that state BJP President Manik Saha and Union Minister of State Pratima Bhowmik are the front-runners for the Chief Minister’s post.
After coming out of the Raj Bhavan, Deb, also a former state BJP President, said that for the interest of the party and considering the Assembly elections due next year, he resigned from the Chief Minister’s post.
“Whatever responsibility the party gave me, I tried to perform with utmost sincerity and honesty. Now if the party decides that I will have to work for the organisation, I will do that.
“During my tenure as the Chief Minister, I tried to give justice to the people, and tried to undertake developmental and welfare works for the all-round development of the state,” Deb told the media.
Deb became the Chief Minister on March 9, 2018 after the BJP-IPFT alliance came to power by defeating the Left Front in the Assembly elections, ending the latter’s 25-year rule.
Amid open resentment by a section of the ruling BJP MLAs and leaders in Tripura, the cabinet expansion took place on August 31 last year by inducting three ministers even as the dissident MLAs and BJP leaders boycotted the swearing-in-ceremony.
Since the BJP-IPFT government assumed office in 2018, three ministerial berths were lying vacant and in May 2019, former Health and Information Technology Minister Sudip Roy Barman was sacked following differences with the Chief Minister, taking the vacancies in the ministry to four.
Amid dissidence by a section of the ruling BJP MLAs and leaders, several senior central party leaders on a number of occasions visited Tripura to quell the internal disputes and also to plug the shortcomings, both in the government and the organisation.
Dissident BJP MLAs Sudip Roy Barman and Ashis Kumar Saha, who resigned from the Assembly and the party on February 7 this year, joined the Congress in New Delhi the next day.
Earlier, BJP MLA Ashish Das, after openly criticising the saffron party and its leadership, including Deb, joined the Trinamool Congress on October 31 last year following which he was disqualified from the Tripura Assembly.
Roy Barman, six other MLAs and many leaders quit the Congress in 2016 and joined Trinamool Congress and next year (2017) they joined the BJP and helped the saffron party win the elections in 2018.