AGARTALA: In a surprise move ahead of the 2023 assembly election, the BJP made Rajya Sabha MP Manik Saha the new Chief Minister of Tripura, replacing Biplab Kumar Deb who resigned earlier on Saturday.
Saha, the BJP’s state president, would be sworn in as the Chief Minister on Sunday. He was elected the legislature party leader at a meeting at the CM’s official residence soon after a crestfallen Deb tendered his resignation to Governor SN Arya.
As Deb proposed the 69-year-old Saha’s name in the meeting, minister Ram Prasad Paul protested, which led to a scuffle among MLAs. Paul also broke a few chairs before the situation was calmed, sources said.
Paul wanted deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, a member of the erstwhile Tripura royal family, as the next chief minister of the state, they said. Opposition parties claimed that the BJP replaced the Chief Minister as Deb failed to fulfil the promises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the move will not succeed in the assembly election.
“I was a common worker of the party and will continue to be so,” Saha told reporters after being named the next CM.
“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 as BJP state president or as Tripura Chief Minister. I have worked for the overall development of Tripura, and to ensure peace for the people of the state,” Deb said after resigning.