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Who Will be Tripura’s Next CM? Biplab Deb, Former Gym Instructor, the Frontrunner

Bilab Kumar Deb is a home grown talent, who has been associated with the RSS for a long time. Born in Akraban, Udaipur in Gomoti District of Tripura, Biplab was in the national capital for 15 years. He used to work as a gym instructor in Delhi before he was asked to take charge of the state unit of the party in 2016.

Subhajit Sengupta | CNN-News18SubhajitSG

Updated:March 3, 2018, 4:11 PM IST
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Who Will be Tripura’s Next CM? Biplab Deb, Former Gym Instructor, the Frontrunner
Tripura's state BJP president Biplab Deb (Photo: Twitter)
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New Delhi: As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gets a historic mandate in Tripura, all eyes are on who would become the Chief Minister of the state. The party has a comfortable majority in the House and the next Chief Minister is likely to be someone who enjoys the confidence of the party high command. Unlike Manipur, where the party had to do a tightrope walk, here the cushion of an absolute majority means the party won’t have to give in to any kind of threat or blackmail from the regional satraps of the party.

Here is the pecking order of possible CMs:

Biplab Kumar Deb

The top claimant for the job is the young state president of the party. Biplab Kumar Deb is a home grown talent, who has been associated with the RSS for a long time. Born in Akraban, Udaipur in Gomoti District of Tripura, Biplab was in the national capital for 15 years. He used to work as a gym instructor in Delhi, before he was asked to take charge of the state unit of the party in 2016. He has the backing of the central leadership, as they think of him as one of their own and not an ‘opportunist’ politician who moves from ship to ship. In a party where almost half the candidates were former Congress leaders, this can be a big fillip for him. But what can go against him is if the party decides to install a Tribal leader as the Chief Minister. The state has not seen a Tribal Chief Minister in last 25 years.

Rampada Jamatia

Rampada Jamatia, Vice President of the party in the state, was with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) till about two years ago. He is from the Jamatia tribe and was the treasurer of the Jamatia Hoda, the community council that has a strong say in community decision-making. If BJP goes for a Tribal face, he would certainly be the frontrunner.

Dr Atul Debbarma

Dr Atul Debbarma is a reputed doctor and also a famed Sanskrit scholar and vedic specialist. He was a practising doctor in Nagpur before he was sent to the state by the RSS. He could be a strong prospect if BJP goes for a Tribal face. But his ailing health could be a matter of concern. He had a massive cardiac arrest last year and that could act as a deterrent.

A dark horse?

Announcing lesser known faces is not uncharacteristic of today’s BJP. Since Modi and Shah took the reins of the BJP in 2014, a long list of surprises has baffled observers. While the media had pegged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as the frontrunner for the post of President, Shah chose to announce the name of the lesser known Ram Nath Kovind as the next President of India. From Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana to Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh and Trivendra Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand, the BJP has sprung many surprises when it came to picking Chief Ministers. So will we, once again, see a surprise candidate beating all the known faces to get the top job in Agartala?
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