BJP state president Manik Saha was sworn in as the chief minister of Tripura on Sunday morning. Governor SN Arya administered the oath to Saha, a Rajya Sabha MP, at the Raj Bhavan here.
Former Chief Minister Biplab Deb, whose sudden resignation on Saturday evening got Saha the top job, was present at the ceremony along with BJP MLAs and state ministers. Union minister Pratima Bhoumik also attended the swearing-in programme.
Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma and minister Ram Prasad Paul, who broke chairs during the BJP’s legislative party meeting on Saturday protesting Saha’s appointment as the chief minister, arrived at the Raj Bhavan moments after the swearing-in ceremony ended.
“Will work for the people of Tripura, taking further the development agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Will focus on the law and order situation,” Saha said after the swearing-in ceremony.
“There are no challenges,” he said, when asked about the change of guard in the state months ahead of the assembly elections. The opposition CPI(M) MLAs boycotted the programme, alleging “fascist-style violence” in the state under the BJP’s rule.
The Trinamool Congress, which is trying to make inroads in the state, claimed the chief minister was changed as BJP realised that people have lost faith in the state government. Saha, a maxillofacial surgeon who graduated from the King George Medical College in Lucknow, was a member of the opposition Congress before he joined the BJP in 2016. He became the party’s state president in 2020.
A former badminton player of repute, Saha is also the President of Tripura Cricket Association. His importance to BJP stems from his clean image and his track record, which includes crafting BJP’s victory in all thirteen civic bodies in the elections held in November 2021.
Sources said the move comes after an analysis sent by the RSS to the BJP’s central leadership indicated there was a need for a change of guard in the party and the government