Tripura: Biplab Deb resigns, Manik Saha to be next CM
Rajya Sabha MP Manik Saha will be the new chief minister of Tripura, replacing Biplab Deb, who resigned after four years in office on Saturday. In a rather sudden move, Deb stepped down just a year ahead of the 2023 state Assembly elections. Deb made the announcement after meeting with the governor, SN Arya, at the Raj Bhavan in Agartala.
- Following the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) victory in the 2018 Tripura elections, Deb became the state's CM, ending the Left Front's 25-year rule.
- Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) has been aggressively garnering support in the region, and Deb was apparently feeling the heat.
- Before Deb, the BJP-ruled states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, and Karnataka also saw leadership changes in 2021 before the Assembly elections.
"We are taken by surprise. Don't know what prompted him. But obviously, he had discussions with the party's top central leadership. The party may have some plans and we are confident that it will be good for the party," a minister in Deb's cabinet reportedly stated. Later, during a BJP legislative meeting, Saha was chosen as the next CM candidate.
When asked about Banerjee's TMC challenge in the state last month, Deb had said that the BJP is confident of comfortably winning the 60-member Assembly in 2023. He also stated that any opposition the ruling government faces will come only from the Communist Party of India (Marxist). "There is hardly any opposition in Tripura...whatever remains of it is the CPM," Deb had said.
Saha is also the incumbent Tripura BJP chief. As the Tripura CM, he will now lead the BJP's fight to retain the state in the upcoming Assembly elections. Saha, considered a master strategist, is known for his grassroots politics in the state.