Tripura BJP MLAs camp in Delhi; demand CM's removal
At least seven MLAs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura have camped in Delhi and are demanding the removal of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. The legislators claimed that Deb is hugely unpopular, alleging a "total dictatorship" in Tripura. They are seeking a meeting with the BJP's leadership to address their issues. Here are more details.
According to The Indian Express, the MLAs' group is led by Sudip Roy Barman and also includes Sushanta Choudhary, Ashish Saha, Ashish Das, Diwa Chandra Rankhal, Burb Mohan Tripura, Parimal Deb Barma, and Ram Prasad Pal. Choudhary told the publication that they also have the support of Birendra Kishore Deb Burnam and Biplab Ghosh, but the two couldn't come to Delhi due to COVID-19.
The MLAs have sought a meeting with BJP President JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah. They plan to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well. The BJP has 36 legislators in the 60-seat Tripura Assembly. It also enjoys the support of eight IPFT MLAs.
Choudhary said the rebel MLAs only have issues with the CM and not the BJP. He said if the BJP conducted a survey on Kumar's popularity, they would discover that 98% of the people want his removal. One of the issues highlighted by the MLAs is the lack of a Health Minister in the state, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Choudhary said, "What's happening in Tripura is a total dictatorship. The Chief Minister does not trust any of his MLAs, he himself holds charge of more than two dozen departments. From rickshaw puller to vegetable/fish vendors to industrialists, everyone in the state resents him." He added, "If the BJP leadership is keen to keep Tripura with them, they should replace Deb with someone else."
BJP sources told TIE that General-Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh had met Barman and told him the CM's removal was unlikely. Deb is believed to have PM Modi's support. Leaders close to Deb and other state BJP leaders said there was no threat to his government. Tripura BJP President Manik Saha said, "I can assure you that seven or eight MLAs cannot topple the government."