Union minister Nitin Gadkari has confirmed that Biplab Kumar Deb will be the next chief minister of Tripura, where the BJP-IPFT alliance toppled the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government, which ruled the state for over two decades. The announcement was made by Gadkari at a press conference on Tuesday and it was later in the day that the swearing-in ceremony would take place this Friday (March 9).
Addressing mediapersons, Biplab Kumar Deb said that Jishnu Deb Burman will work with him as the Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura.
Deb, Tripura state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the frontrunner for the post of Tripura CM since the declaration of the results of the state Assembly elections. He contested from Banamalipur constituency.
A former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer, Deb reportedly worked as a professional gym instructor in Delhi before venturing into politics.
The BJP decimated the CPM in Tripura - one of the last remaining Left bastions, ousting Manik Sarkar from power after 20 long years.
Pulling off a historic victory, the BJP and its ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, together won 43 out of 59 Tripura constituencies. The BJP on its own won 35 seats, four more than the half-way mark, while its ally IPFT won eight seats. In a remarkable performance, the alliance swept all the 20 seats reserved for tribals.
The BJP, which had no MLAs in the outgoing Assembly and polled just 1.5 percent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, secured over 42 percent of votes in the February 18, 2018, Tripura elections.
The CPM which headed the ruling Left Front was reduced to just 15 seats - down from 50 in the last elections. None of its partners, including the CPI, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party, could open their account.
The Congress, which had 10 members in the outgoing Assembly, drew a blank this time.