AGARTALA: After BJP’s resounding victory in Tripura+ on Saturday, the next most talked about name here is that of 48-year-old Biplab Kumar Deb, state party president and the frontrunner successor to Manik Sarkar as the state CM. Should the BJP parliamentary board decide on Deb, he would be the fourth BJP chief minister in the northeast, after Assam, Arunachal and Manipur.
A former RSS volunteer, Deb is all game for the CM’s responsibility but insists that the party high command will take the final call. “I am ready to take the responsibility. I will not run away from taking any responsibility, but it is up to the party leadership to decide,” he said.
Deb was working in New Delhi when BJP’s observer for Tripura Sunil Deodhar was looking for a new face for the resurgent party that had been building for over three years. “I was looking for a new and young face as party president to lead the party. Once I met Biplab in New Delhi and he was talking about his concern for the people of Tripura. I told him to come to Tripura and work for the people and that was how I got him here,” Deodhar said.
Deb is known to be a highly compassionate political leader, a man with a heart. Anecdotes of how he walked up to a poor and aged woman after getting down from the dais at an election rally, addressed her as ‘Ma’ and asked for her well being are doing the rounds in Agartala.
The soft spoken no-nonsense Deb thanked the people for their overwhelming response to BJP’s chalo paltai (lets flip it) call and did not forget the 11 party workers who were killed in pre-poll violence across the state. He also promised to get the CBI to probe the murder of two journalists.
Deb was born and brought up in Udaipur in south Tripura and graduated from Tripura University in 1999, after which he took up full time training in the RSS in New Delhi.
Amid the 29 Congress and Trinamool turncoats who switched over, Deb stands out as the one who joined BJP directly after his grooming in the RSS. During his training in New Delhi, he also worked as a gym instructor. He returned to Tripura in 2016, and took charge of the party here.
His wife, Niti, deputy manager with SBI’s Parlaimenat House branch in New Delhi who has been shadowing her husband, was among the huge turnout of supporters at the party headquarters here. “I am so happy for the people of Tripura. I am not a political person but I was also so impressed with the slogan chalo paltai,” she said.