BJP douses Tripura dissidence; state leadership may take action

Questions on Tripura CM comes after new BJP central team saw Madhav out

Agency Report | New Delhi | 13 October, 2020 | 11:40 PM

At least 7 BJP MLAs led by Sudip Roy Barman, who was dropped as a minister earlier by Biplab Deb, who have been camping in the national capital to reportedly “apprise the national leadership” of the alleged “high handedness” of Tripura CM Biplab Deb, seem to have been dissuaded for now by the top BJP leadership. Moreover, Barman rubbished the dissidence allegations as “concocted stories”.

Barman, who has been widely quoted in the media about his disgruntlement with Deb rubbished it saying, “I am going back home tomorrow. These are all stories weaved by certain journalist friends in Tripura which the national media catches. I have nothing against Deb. The Chief Minister is doing a good job. I simply came here to wish Nadda ji after the new BJP team was formed and to discuss organizational work of Tripura.”

Sources say the turnaround took place after the intervention of the BJP’s top leadership which wanted the public spat between the two to end.

However, trouble seems to be brewing back home with the state BJP contemplating action against them, but only after the verification of facts.

Sources close to Biplab Deb suggest he did raise the matter in Delhi and that this renewed effort to question the Tripura CM takes place after the new BJP central team was constituted where Ram Madhav, a key BJP figure who looked after North East affairs and backed Deb, was dropped as General Secretary.

The disgruntled MLAs were seeking to meet party president JP Nadda, General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, say sources. However, all of them claim allegiance to the BJP and say their opposition is to Deb’s ‘misrule’.

Sources close to Biplab Deb said, “They are a total of 8 lawmakers. The 8th one has now backtracked. So all in all there are 7 of them led by Barman who was dropped by Deb as a minister last year.”

So what is the opposition to Deb? There’s not one. The primary opposition is Deb’s alleged “high handedness” apart from Deb’s comments in the past that have embarrassed the party or the alleged mishandling of the pandemic that the dissidents sought to raise with Nadda.

The state BJP president is not happy about the developments. Tripura BJP president Manik Saha said, “We have a custom that whenever BJP lawmakers go out of state, they inform the state president. I have no idea that they are in Delhi. No one has spoken to me. I learnt from newspapers about (what they are upto). If it is true, and that is a big if, action according to (party) rules can be initiated.”

However, no action is likely to be initiated before they are back in Tripura and the matter is personally verified by Saha, as he said nothing can be done “based on newspapers”.

In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the BJP has 36 MLAs and also enjoys the support of 8 IPFT MLAs. It has been a bumpy ride with the IPFT which has accused the BJP of ignoring the indigenous people of Tripura and Ram Madhav had to intervene in July this year to sort things out. On his July 11 visit to Tripura, Madhav allegedly promised a dialogue between the allies at the state level.

With an unhappy ally, the last thing the BJP would want is dissidence in the party. And for now, the BJP seems to have doused the fire. (IANS)