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Long awaited cabinet expansion in Tripura likely today

Amidst open resentment by a section of ruling BJP MLAs and leaders in Tripura, with the inclusion of three new faces, the much expected cabinet expansion would take place on Tuesday afternoon, top party and official sources said.

Long awaited cabinet expansion in Tripura likely today
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Representative image.

Agartala

The sources said that former Tripura BJP-Vice President Ram Prasad Paul, young legislator Sushanta Chowdhury and party's northern Tripura leader Bhagaban Chandra Das, all new faces, likely to be the new ministers in the first ever cabinet expansion in the three-and-a-half year old BJP led alliance ministry. 

With the elevation of 47-year-old Das, the long awaited demand for a minister belonging to the Schedule Caste (SC) community would be fulfilled. "Those BJP MLAs would not be accommodated in the cabinet, they would be the chairpersons from among the 31 Public Sector Undertakings and Corporations," a top party leader told IANS on Tuesday. 

The BJP leader refusing to be named said that eyeing at the 2023 assembly election in Tripura, the Bharatiya Janata Party has further activated the governance and the party organisations all across the state. 

Since the BJP-IPFT (Indigenous People's Front of Tripura) government assumed office on March 9, 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 and the vacancy in the ministry rose to four. 

Amidst the dissidence by a section of ruling BJP MLAs and leaders since 2019, four senior central party leaders arrived in the state on Monday for a week-long visit to plug the shortcomings, both in the government and the organisation. 

BJP's Tripura chief spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said that the central leaders, led by party's North East Zonal Secretary, Organisation, Ajay Jamwal, immediately after their arrival on Monday started holding a series of meetings with Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, state President Manik Saha, all Ministers, MLAs, state and district leaders to obtain their views about the governance and functioning of the party organisation. 

The other BJP central leaders in the team are national General Secretary Dilip Saikiya, General Secretary in-charge of Tripura-Assam Phanindranath Sharma, and state's central observer Vinod Sonkar. 

"The central party leaders would also visit a few districts and sub-divisions to meet the grassroots leaders and workers," Chakraborty told IANS. 

The central team arrived a day after five dissident BJP MLAs, and former district and state leaders held a meeting here on Sunday. The five MLAs are Sudip Roy Barman, Ashis Kumar Saha, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, Ashis Das, and Burba Mohan Tripura. 

Barman, a former Health and Information Technology Minister, told IANS that in the meeting, they obtained views and suggestions of the district and local leaders of all the eight districts and these would be communicated to the visiting central leaders. "Leaders of the government and party organisations are not keen to listen to the opinion, grievances and suggestions of the district and grassroots leaders. That's why the conference was held. This is not against the BJP or to join the Trinamool Congress," the Congress-turned BJP leader said. 

Ashis Kumar Saha said: "With our joining, along with thousands of party (Trinamool and Congress) workers in 2016, the BJP got a massive political strength, facilitating it to come to power defeating the Left parties after 25 years." 

"People and workers of the party have many problems and issues. We want that the government and the party should give importance to the opinion and propositions of all," Saha told IANS.

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