Agartala: Biplab Deb, 48-year-old Tripura BJP chief, has been elected by party legislators as their leader in the state assembly and is expected to take oath as chief minister on Friday, March 9 at a grand ceremony likely to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and where the BJP plans to showcase its many chief ministers from around the country.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who oversaw today's meeting of the newly-elected BJP legislators, announced that Mr Deb had been chosen to be chief minister. Mr Deb said senior BJP leader Jishnu Debbarma will assist him as deputy Chief minister.
Mr Gadkari is now leading the BJP delegation to the Raj Bhawan, where Mr Deb will stake claim to form govermment. The BJP posted a stunning victory on Saturday winning 35 of Tripura's 60 assembly seats - 43 along with a regional ally - and ousting Left party CPM, which was in power for 25 years.
The massive victory threw the spotlight on Biplab Deb, who took over two years ago as the BJP's Tripura chief, its youngest in any state. "Legislature members will decide who should be made the Chief Minister in a democratic way as BJP believes in democracy. BJP President Amit Shah and PM Modi know how to give right direction to public's suggestion," Mr Deb today said.
Mr Deb has been a front-runner for the post. The BJP's Tripura partner IPFT did suggest that a tribal lawmaker be named chief minister, but it does not have the numbers to press its demand.
Tripura was considered the Left's strongest citadel, presided over 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. On Saturday, the Left could win only 16 seats, down 33 from last time