Two years ago, Biplab Deb became the youngest BJP chief in any state.
agartala: Biplab Kumar Deb, the 48-year-old Tripura BJP president, took oath as the Chief Minister of the northeastern state today at a grand ceremony which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah and party leaders. In the new government, senior BJP leader Jishnu Debbarma will assist Mr Deb as his deputy. The BJP's arrival in Tripura following a spectacular electoral victory is being seen as a humiliating defeat for the unchallenged 25-year rule of the Left. The "historic verdict" -- the BJP got out for nought in 2013 -- dethroned four-time Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and demolished Left's almost impenetrable fortress.
Here is a 10-point lowdown on the story:
- Ahead of taking charge of Tripura, Mr Deb spoke to NDTV about his priorities and his new role as a people's person. He said, "People inspire me...they are my dal, roti (staple)."
- Mr Deb has assured the people of Tripura of development, something which 'wasn't done by the previous government'. He said, "I love the people of Tripura. I even love the Communist and Manik Sarkar, but I am annoyed that they got so much time but didn't utilise the resources of the state to develop it. We will rebuild it from scratch."
- Born in 1969 in a middle class family in Tripura's Gomati district, in a village called Rajdhar Nagar, Biplab Deb graduated from Tripura's Udaipur College in 1999 and left for Delhi soon after to join the RSS, where he was a volunteer for 16 years, training under prominent leaders Gobinda Acharya and Krishnagopal Sharma.
- Two years ago, he was called back home where he replaced Sudhindra Dasgupta, the longest-serving BJP chief in Tripura to become the youngest party chief in any state. A BJP assessment last year, the party said, showed that Biplab Deb was more popular than Manik Sarkar in Tripura.
- His efforts in building the party virtually from scratch and driving it to a massive win were acknowledged by the top brass and he was chosen to lead the state.
- The BJP, which had won no seat in 2013, got 35 seats and a 43 per cent vote share this time after a high-voltage campaign and promise to bring "poriborton" (change) in the state.
- Tripura was considered the Left's strongest citadel, ruled by the CPM's Manik Sarkar, 69, who had been chief minister for 20 years and was seeking re-election for the fifth consecutive term. Last week, the Left could manage only 16 seats, down 33 from last time. The party now rules only one state - Kerala.
- BJP leaders say their strategy for the state was to pit the Manik Sarkar government against "Modi sarkar".
- Reacting to the "unexpected result", Mr Sarkar said that the party had been caught off-guard. The CPM has accused the BJP of "massive deployment of money and other resources to influence the elections".
- Mr Sarkar, however, attended Mr Deb's swearing in ceremony in Agartala following an invitation from senior BJP leader Ram Madhav and Mr Deb who had wanted him to be present at the change of guard.
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