Following BJP’s historic win in Tripura, the next chief minister for the state is in talks. However, as per reports, a former gym instructor and RSS volunteer Biplab Deb could be Tripura’s next chief minister.
After the victory, Deb’s first remarks were, “Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), Amit Shah, Ram Madhav and Himantada (Biswa Sarma) worked together for the people of Tripura.”
However, he also made it clear that he was ready for the top job. “I am ready to take the responsibility. I will not run away from taking any responsibility,” he said, adding that it was up to the party leadership to decide.
The BJP’s youngest chief in any state, Biplab Deb was a volunteer with the RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP.
The 49-year-old father of two moved to Delhi 15 years ago and, after a brief work in the RSS, apprenticed with BJP leaders in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
Just two years ago, he was again moved to Tripura as the BJP’s chief in an apparently impregnable Left fortress. He replaced Sudhindra Dasgupta, the longest-serving chief of the BJP in Tripura. It was widely seen as a punishment posting in a state that has chosen the CPM for five straight terms. However, BJP had nothing to lose in Tripura by handing the reins to a young, local face.
Its risk paid off, alongside the strategy to play on anti-incumbency against four-time chief minister Manik Sarkar.
Biplab Deb’s mentor is Sunil Deodhar, the BJP’s in-charge in Tripura, who is known for directing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in the 2014 national election in Varanasi, one of the two constituencies that he contested.
According to BJP’s assessment, Biplab Deb was more popular than Manik Sarkar in the state, and the party believes that the former has the potential to emerge as a formidable alternative to “India’s poorest chief minister”. Deb has clean image and has impressive oratorical skills.
Deb is from Udaipur in south Tripura, who became a fixture on BJP posters in the run-up to the election. His wife is a deputy manager at the State Bank of India’s Parliament House branch.