New Delhi/ Agartala | Jagran Politics Desk: In a sudden turn of events, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from his position on Saturday, nearly a year before the assembly elections in the northeast state. Later, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declared Dr Manik Saha - the party's Tripura president - will be the new Chief Minister of the state.

"Party is above all. I am a loyal worker of the BJP. I hope I have done justice to the responsibilities that were given to me -- whether it was BJP state president or Tripura chief minister. I have worked for the overall development of Tripura, and to ensure peace for the people of the state," Deb said, as reported by news agency PTI.

"The 2023 election is coming, and the party wants a responsible organiser to take charge of the affairs here. A government can only be formed if the organisation is strong. After the elections, someone will obviously become the chief minister," he added.

Deb's sudden resignation came as a shocker for parties across the political spectrum as he played a key role in helping the BJP end the 25-year Left Front rule in Tripura in 2018. Interestingly, his resignation came two days after he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah BJP national president JP Nadda in New Delhi.

There were rumours of infighting within the BJP's Tripura unit, which might have led to Deb's resignation. Although Deb enjoyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trust, several media reports suggest that the central BJP leadership was not happy with him and decided not to fight the 2023 Tripura assembly elections under his leadership.

The Indigenous Peoples' Front of Tripura (IPFT), BJP's ally in the northeast, also had reservations against Deb. Notably, several state MLAs in October 2018 have openly expressed their disappointment with Deb, but the BJP top brass then had decided to support him.

"We do not have one full year left to face the elections and it is almost the deadline to make changes in the government. There were different charges... The party had to step in," The Indian Express quoted sources as saying.

However, this doesn't mean that it is the end of the road for Deb as reports suggest that the BJP might bring the outgoing Chief Minister to the Rajya Sabha. It is also being said that Biplab will be asked to take up the post of the party president of Tripura.

"I thank Central leadership and people of Tripura for giving me the responsibility to serve Tripura as a Chief Minister. I have wholeheartedly served my State and will always work for the betterment of my State. Tripura shall definitely march ahead in the path of development. Jai Hind," Deb said.

Elections for the 60-member legislative assembly are slated to be held in Tripura in March next year. The BJP, which has 34 seats, is looking to retain the power in the state but is expected to face a fierce fight against Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), which is looking to expand its ground outside West Bengal ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma