A fledgling mutiny against Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb by a section of BJP MLAs has now reached Delhi with a dozen of them trying to meet the party's top leadership and brief them on what they claim "poor leadership" and "misrule" of the chief minister.
The group led by former health minister of the state and heavyweight BJP MLA Sudip Roy Barman, has sought appointments with party chief JP Nadda, and the general secretary BL Santosh.
They are also trying to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the MLAs camping at Tripura Bhawan in New Delhi told NDTV on condition of anonymity.
"We are about 12 MLAs who have decided we would appraise the party leadership about total dictatorship, poor governance of the chief minister, which in turn is leaving the party very unpopular," he said.
"We want to tell the national leadership that we are all committed workers of the party and would like the BJP rule in the state to sustain for more than one term. But if the present leadership continues, opposition forces like the Left and even the Congress will gather lost ground," he said.
"Already the chief minister has embarrassed the party more than once with those loose comments on several issues," the leader added.
The dissidents also allege that the management of the COVID-19 crisis has been very poor in the state, forcing the centre to rush a team to Tripura. "During the ongoing pandemic, there is no dedicated health minister in the state," one leader said.
"Experienced IAS and IPS officers are leaving the state either on deputation or voluntary retirement since they are unable to cope with Chief Minister's dictatorship nature. He has even threatened the media and journalists have opened up a front against him," he said.
"Majority of the party MLAs want a leadership change," the MLA added.
A close aide of Chief Minister Biplab Deb, however, contested the scale of the revolt. "There are only seven-eight MLAs who are trying to create disturbance in smooth functioning of the government and that they are mostly imports from Congress," he told NDTV, requesting not to be named.
He further claimed that BJP old-timers and most of the party workers and leaders on different levels have complete faith and confidence over Mr Deb's leadership.
The BJP and its ally the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) had registered a landmark victory in the state in 2018, dislodging the 25-year-old Left Front government. In the 60-member assembly, the BJP has 36 MLAs and has the support of 8 IPFT MLAs.