With early trends pointing a clear majority for Bharatiya Janata Party and ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) in Tripura, former RSS volunteer Biplab Kumar Deb has emerged as the top contender for the post of chief minister in the state.
Remaining true to the tradition of refraining from announcing a chief ministerial candidate in advance, BJP hadn't announced any chief ministerial candidate in the state. However, despite keeping it under wraps, Deb and BJP in-charge in Tripura Sunil Deodhar had emerged as the likely chief minister of Tripura.
However, Deodhar had denied himself being in the race. "I can say one thing for sure, it’s not me," he had told The Wire.
This leaves Deb, who was elected as the president of the BJP unit in Tripura in 2016, as the most likely candidate for the post, an assertion which The Pioneer also seems to agree upon in this article.
Seen as a no-nonsense man in BJP, Deb, 48, is considered to be very popular in Tripura, in fact, a pre-poll survey showed the BJP leader to be more popular than incumbent chief minister Manik Sarkar.
He was sent to Tripura from New Delhi in 2014 after Prime minister Narendra Modi formed government at the Centre, and is considered to be a key figure in helping the part improve its reach in the Northeastern state.
Under Deb's leadership, BJP turned its focus to the youngsters in the state, who, the party has claimed always wanted "change" from the CPM-led-government, which is apparently facing anti-incumbency. Deb is considered one of the main reasons for BJP's remarkable performance so far in Tripura — BJP and its ally IPFT had won seven seats (and were leading in 34), in the 60-seat Tripura Assembly (at the time of publishing this article).
Knowing that the party had garnered just two percent votes in the 2013 Assembly polls in Tripura, its latest performance in Tripura is likely to work in the favour of the Tripura BJP president.
An RSS-trained party worker, Deb was born in Udaipur subdivision of south Tripura. He completed his educated in Delhi and spent the better part of his life in RSS headquarter at Nagpur.
“He worked closely with BJP and RSS to end the CPM’s hegemony in Tripura. He is an organisational man, trained in RSS, and has a no-nonsense image in BJP,” a BJP office-bearer was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
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Updated Date: Mar 03, 2018 14:42:21 IST