President Murmu's visit to Tripura, absence of key leaders raises eyebrow

Agartala: The absence of two key BJP leaders during the main event organised at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan in Agartala where President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated a slew of projects on Wednesday has raised many questions and eyebrows.

President Droupadi Murmu arrived in Tripura on Wednesday, starting her maiden journey to India’s northeast after assuming charge of the country’s highest office. The Tripura government has also left no stones unturned to mark her visit with a tall schedule packed with activities and events.

Following all the protocols, the President was accorded a warm reception at the MBB Airport Agartala through a special guard of honour performed by the Tripura State Rifle troopers.

And right after that, Murmu started attending events that continued till late in the evening. Although it appeared good, the state BJP leadership faced an embarrassing situation with the absence of two of its influential leaders from the event at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan, where President Murmu inaugurated several projects and also laid the foundation stones of a number of projects.

BJP Tripura Pradesh President Rajib Bhattacharjee, who had earlier addressed a press conference about the state BJP’s preparedness to welcome the President of India, was not seen anywhere during the foundation-stone laying ceremony. However, he attended the civic reception organised by the Agartala Municipal Corporation at Agartala Town Hall.

Instead of welcoming the President of India, he was busy addressing party workers at different parts of the Sepahijala district. Party sources said, “He could have postponed the party meetings to attend the event organised in the honor of the President of India. It could have created a better image of the party but now people have got a chance to speculate about unity within the BJP rank and file.”

Similar was the experience with former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who is now the lone representative of Tripura in the Rajya Sabha. Deb is among the leaders who never misses the chance to share frames with top leaders. Be it PM Modi, Amit Shah or JP Nadda, or any other person holding a higher portfolio, Deb always shares the pictures with a brief note on what transpired in the meeting. ON wednesday, however, Deb posted pictures of him addressing political rallies in the South Tripura district.

A number of BJP leaders defended Bhattacharjee’s absence saying that he was not holding any constitutional post and that since the polls are arriving, he wanted to shift his focus to poll preparations. But Deb is a Rajya Sabha MP and he should remain present in the civic reception event as Lok Sabha MP Rebati Tripura and Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik attended all the events.

Another controversy visible soon after the President landed was the absence of an indigenous leader at the airport reception.

“When former President Ram Nath Kovind arrived here in the state, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma along with other higher officials welcomed him at the airport. Traditionally, tribal leaders are put forward in such reception events to promote equal representation,” said an indigenous BJP leader on the condition of anonymity..

This time, however, only the Chief Minister and Governor along with Union Minister Bhoumik reached the airport to welcome President Murmu. “There is no breach of protocol but it does not look good for a state where a substantial section of the population belongs to the indigenous communities,” he added.

Meanwhile, the presence of the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik at the airport reception also triggered resentment among a section of ruling party leaders. Even though the final list of dignitaries approved through security clearances did not have Bhoumik’s name on it, she somehow managed to be there, causing resentment through the rank and file. The confidential list has been accessed by EastMojo

Also read |  President Murmu gets all women guard of honour by Tripura Police


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