The BJP’s infighting in its Tripura unit was out in the open on Tuesday after Biplab Kumar Deb threatened to seek people’s mandate on whether he should continue as the state’s chief minister. Deb said that he would hold a rally in Vivekananda ground on 13 December at 2 PM and ask ‘people of Tripura to come there to tell me whether I should stay as CM.’
“If people don’t support me, I’ll inform party high command,” Deb was quoted by news agency ANI. His comments came after ‘Biplab Hatao, BJP Bachao slogans were allegedly chanted during the visit of BJP’s state in-charge VK Sonkar.
Sonkar, for his part, said that ‘both Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and I spoke with BJP National President on this.’ The chief minister, according to him, should serve the people of Tripura, adding that if there are any issues, the party will look into it.
Both Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and I spoke with BJP National President on this. CM should serve the people of Tripura, if there are any issues, the party will look into it: BJP Tripura in-charge Vinod Sonkar. https://t.co/Qw3zuCh0l4 pic.twitter.com/7YBXzkwWRl
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2020
Meanwhile, BJP President JP Nadda is believed to have told Deb to not go ahead with his public meeting to seek people’s approval.
The internal revolt within the BJP against Deb had taken an ugly turn in October after at least a dozen MLAs reached Delhi to meet the party leadership demanding the sacking of the controversial CM. Leading the rebellion was Deb’s former health minister, Sudip Roy Barman, who had joined the BJP from the Congress.
Earlier this week, when Sonkar visited Tripura, a group of BJP supporters allegedly chanted slogans demanding removal of Deb at the state’s guest house where he was staying.
In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the BJP has 36 MLAs, while its alliance partner, People’s Front of Tripura, has 8 MLAs. The saffron party had ended the 25-year-old rule of the Left parties in the state during the 2018 assembly polls.
Biplab Deb and his controversies
BJP rebels are also unhappy with Deb for his loose comments, embarrassing the party. Ever since Biplab Deb has become the new chief minister of Tripura, his foot-in-mouth syndrome has become a great source of entertainment for social media users.
First he courted controversy by making extraordinarily insane comments that internet and satellite existed even during the Mahabharat period, which is a legendary narrative of the Kurukṣetra War, believed to have been fought somewhere in 8th and 9th century BC. Biplab, which in Bengali means revolution, became an object of ridicule even by his own educated supporters.
However, unfazed by public ridicule over his internet in Mahabharat remarks, he then found himself embroiled in yet another controversy by his equally crazy statement on Miss World Diana Hayden, who won the coveted beauty title in 1997. Questioning the rationale behind crowning Diana as the Miss World, Deb had said that she wasn’t the face of Indian beauty, but Aishwarya Rai was.
This statement by Deb had come after he famously asked unemployed youth in his state to stop chasing politicians for jobs and instead open paan shops for survival. He had then claimed that ducks recycled water when they swam and raised the oxygen level in water bodies.