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Manik Saha sworn-in as new Tripura CM

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Agartala, May 15: Dental surgeon-turned-politician and Tripura BJP President Manik Saha was sworn-in as the 12th Chief Minister of the state on Sunday after a sudden political development saw incumbent Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb resign from his post on Saturday.

A day after he was named as the new leader of the BJP legislators in the state, 69-year-old Saha was administered the oath of office by Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya during a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here.

Except the Chief Minister, no other MLAs of the BJP and its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) took oath in the sworn-in ceremony.

When asked the new Chief Minister about the other ministers he did not disclose anything.

Main opposition CPI-M led Left Front, Congress and other political parties boycotted the Sunday’s swering-in-ceremony alleging large scale political attacks against the opposition parties.

Saha,who was elected to the Rajya Sabha from the lone seat in Tripura on March 31, has to be elected to the state Assembly within the next six months.

Father of two daughters, Saha, who is also a professor at the Tripura Medical College and B.R. Ambedkar Memorial Teaching Hospital in Agartala, as well as the President of the Tripura Cricket Association, joined the BJP in 2015 and became the state party President in 2021.

The election to the 60-member Tripura Assembly is due in January-February next year.

Tripura, since May 2019, has been witnessing waves of revolt by dissident BJP MLAs and leaders against Deb, who also subsequently announced to obtain a public mandate by calling a public meeting though the move was later cancelled following the intervention of the central leaders.

Deb, 51, became the Chief Minister on March 9, 2018 after the BJP-IPFT alliance came to power by defeating the Left Front in the Assembly elections, ending the latter’s 25-year rule.

Amid open resentment by a section of the BJP MLAs and leaders, the cabinet expansion took place on August 31 last year, which saw the induction of three ministers, even as the dissident MLAs and party leaders boycotted the swearing-in-ceremony.

Three BJP MLAs Sudip Roy Barman (also a former minister), Ashis Kumar Saha, Ashish Das quit the BJP following open differences with Deb.

Roy Barman and Saha, joined the Congress in New Delhi on February 8 and joined the Trinamool Congress on October 31 last year following which he was disqualified from the Tripura Assembly.

Roy Barman, six other MLAs and many leaders quit the Congress in 2016 and joined Trinamool Congress and next year (2017) they joined the BJP and helped the saffron party win the elections in 2018.

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