Prez poll: Cross voting unearths 'black sheep' within Tripura BJP

Agartala: The BJP high command is planning to appoint a new party president for Tripura in August this year, top party sources said.

However, who will relieve Chief Minister Manik Saha of his additional charge as state BJP president is a question running thick and fast in the political circles of the state. Even the ground-level BJP workers are eagerly awaiting an answer.

When Saha was appointed the chief minister of Tripura, he was holding dual charge as Rajya Sabha MP and state BJP president. Soon after getting elected to the post of chief minister before the recent by-polls, Saha resigned from his membership of the Rajya Sabha to be sworn in as a member of the Tripura Legislative Assembly.

The way BJP functions across the country, chief ministers generally do not hold the top organisational post for a longer period.

The same was applicable to Saha’s predecessor Biplab Kumar Deb, who had to hang up his boots to allow Manik Saha to get into the saddle as party chief. However, now a search for Saha’s successor has already begun in the party.

If party sources are to be believed, the party high command is considering a set of names to be appointed as the new party president.

Top party sources said, “New appointment of the president will be made in the first week of August. It can be done even before that, but so far we have been informed that a formal announcement would be made next month.”

While several party leaders are in the race for the top post, Kishore Barman, who is now holding the charge of party general secretary (Organization) and is claimed to be a close confidante of BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda, was deputed in Tripura to ultimately take over the reins of the party’s organisation.

However, loyalists of former Chief Miniter Biplab Kumar Deb have an altogether different theory to present.

They feel Deb was instrumental in the Left’s electoral drubbing at the hands of the BJP in 2018. The narrative was being built by the Deb loyalists ever since his “removal” from the post of Chief Minister, but any significant progress in this line has not been seen so far. Deb’s activities were largely confined to his own constituency after resigning as the leader of the Tripura Legislative Assembly.

Some people have also claimed that he has a bigger role to play in national politics, but all these predictions are still confined to debates and arguments in political circles.

Apart from Barman and Deb, there are many leaders who are also equally capable of running the party and keeping the party’s flag afloat in crucial times.

Deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, vice president and Minister Ram Pada Jamatia, Vice President Rajib Bhattacharjee, and general secretaries Papiya Datta and Tinku Roy are some leaders who are being seen as the probable successor of Manik Saha to become the party president.

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