All is not well in Tripura if we go by the current political scenario in the state. On one hand, we have the elections of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) just round the corner and on the other there seems to be cracks in the state BJP. Many leaders seem to be irked over the chief minister Biplab Deb. To add to the woes, Tripura hills have been resonating with trouble right from the start of 2020 with the massive CAA protests and the coronavirus induced pandemic has just provided fuel to the political temperatures. State BJP’s own MLAs have been camping in Delhi lately to raise their concerns with the central leadership of the party. A major reason for rising discontent against the Biplab Deb government is that the state still remains with the highest percentage of unemployment in the country. Notably, BJP had ridden piggyback on the promise of reducing the high unemployment rate of the state.
Yes, it is worth mentioning that the state has done a fairly commendable job in managing the coronavirus pandemic. The chief minister himself has been touring the lengths of the state ensuring that everything is in place to tackle the virus threat. However, off late, the rate of testing in the state has declined and the positivity rate has risen above 5%. Another concern for the Biplab Deb led government is the fact that the state does not have a regular health minister which is being looked after by the chief minister himself after Sudip Roy Barman was removed from the post a year ago. All this, added with bold and uncanny statements of Deb has brought out the dissent within the party in Tripura out in the open. Interestingly, many of the MLAs camping in Delhi joined the BJP in 2017 under the leadership of Barman leaving Trinamool Congress in an open rally held in Agartala where Trinamool Supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself was present.
The demand of these MLAs camping in Delhi is reportedly to change the chief minister of the state. However, this has been ruled out by the BJP’s top leadership. One of the MLAs camping in Delhi, Ram Prasad Paul, who has been a long timer in BJP with RSS background, stated that he does not support the claim of changing the chief minister, as reported by a section of media. This means that he has separated himself from the dissident group led by Sudip Barman. Although the group claims support of other MLAs back in Tripura, but the way central leadership has made its intentions clear, it seems difficult for the group to keep its support together. With this, the Biplab Deb led government seems to be out of danger, however, the ruling BJP should take this development as a warning. At a time when various allegations are being put forward against the ruling government and with the upcoming TTAADC elections, such news of open internal rivalries have chances to damage the image of the government. Therefore, it may be the time for the state BJP to introspect rather than being complacent.