Tripura: Why Biplab Deb resigned, some points to ponder

Agartala, May 16, 2022, ENEWSTIME Desk


# Manas Pal


At the face of it or for the uninformed the resignation of incumbent Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb might come as a bolt from the blue. It was sudden, sharp and immediate.


The entire state was taken aback at the decision of the party when the political environment of the state, and also in the BJP, was not like that it had been some months ago. By and large almost all the dissidents and opponents of Biplab Kumar Deb were either neutralized or contained politically and meaningfully. Deb was successful to silence even his bitter bete noirs effectively.


So why then all of a sudden the party felt that Biplab Deb should relinquish the chair of the Chief Minister?


The reasons are actually simple. The party state unit required immediate surgical operations for its revival. The BJP state unit was not in a good shape for the last few months despite what met the eye. The party’s organizational top guns were losing grips over the foot soldiers fast – as reflected by the Bike gang activities and senior leaders shooting off letters against the incumbent president Dr Manik Saha to Delhi bosses.


Why-Biplab-Deb-ResignedBut what was most worrying was the rise of TIPRA Motha. The TIPRA Motha rise was not only politically a serious development for the BJP but also a matter, that many felt, triggered an undercurrent of communal tension in some mixed pockets. TIPRA Motha had succeeded quite effectively to sway the sentiment of the indigenous people and in the next elections the party was going to be determining factor, if its rise was not contained right now by the ruling BJP.


Besides, if the TIPRA Motha indeed fields its candidate in the general seats and manages the tribal votes from these segments in its kitty then the tension that was brewing in the rural areas would definitely spill over in the urban and semi urban areas too.


But at present state the BJP as a political organization did not appear competent to arrest the TIPRA Motha’s formidable rise. The Congress or for that TMC were virtually absent in the ST constituencies and CPM had already eroded its base in all intents and purpose to a point of no return.


If this scenario continued the TIPRA Motha would without any doubt bag almost all the ST assembly segments and would also come out with a definite vote bank in general seats too.


The IPFT had already shown its weakness and, of late, the squabble among the two top leaders NC Debbarma and Mevar Kumar Jamatia came to fore - with Mevar Jamatia openly espousing the TIPRA motha cause and even supporting a merger. Already the IPFT lost its ground and to a great extent in the coming elections it would under severe attacks and pressures from all sides tumble down further. In fine TIPRA Motha would emerge as a formidable force in the next elections.


All these would put the BJP in a serious quandary.


The BJP predicament was double edged.


If BJP goes for an alliance with TIPRA Motha it would be an uncomfortable partnership. If the government is formed by such an alliance, the TIPRA would not miss a single moment from exerting pressure and asserting itself in all arrogance with a clear tilt towards a particular community.


The intransigence of the TIPRA Motha leaders as well as workers which were often brazen would be hard to tolerate. This would also not only affect the governance, (if alliance really comes to power it would be the BJP as the main alliance partner with a Chief Minister from its own) but would also keep the tension in the society simmering – ultimately the BJP would be blamed triggering its main base - the Bengalis.


It was at the backdrop the BJP first removed Janajati Morcha president and MP Rebati Tripura and also later rejig was done with Minority Morcha only this week.


It may also be mentioned here that only last week Deb held a threadbare discussion with the Janajati Morcha leaders in his residence.


The weakened state of the BJP might not be visible at the surface but the reports from RSS and also the Intelligence Bureau were seriously and deeply analyzed by the central leadership. It was after such analysis that BJP top brass did not feel like taking any risk by going to next elections in its present condition and decided to relieve Biplab Kumar Deb from the Chief Minister’s position and bestow on him the organizational matters as round the clock duties.


It was the decision that Deb would now engage himself fully to revive the party and give it an impetus. Given his organizational acumen , as reflected before the last elections, it became imperative for the BJP that the party should go to next polls with Deb in the helm of organizational affairs. He would otherwise also be always available to guide the new Chief Minister  Dr Manik Saha with his experience and administrative knowledge gathered during the last four years.


As the leader of the organization he would also be able to use the ‘system’ in the party’s favour because of his connections, knowledge of government decisions that he was well aware of as a Chief Minister. Though it would be too early to assume that Deb would once again return as the Chief Minister after the next elections , the possibility could not be ruled out altogether. (First published in Tripuranet)


# Manas Pal may be contacted at [email protected]