Former Chief Minister Biplab Deb Sparks Speculation Ahead of Bypolls

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TIPRA Motha Supporter Loyalty Not Guaranteed: Former Tripura CM Biplab Deb Former Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb, suggested on Tuesday that the support base of the opposition TIPRA Motha party in the Dhanpur and Boxanagar Assembly constituencies could undergo changes due to the absence of its candidate in the upcoming September by-elections. This statement is being interpreted as an effort to attract tribal voters ahead of the scheduled bypolls.

Speaking at a media briefing in the State Guest House, Deb emphasized that the tribal voters of Dhanpur and Boxanagar constituencies might not maintain the same voting patterns as before. These constituencies are set to hold by-elections on September 5. He also highlighted the developmental initiatives for tribes and the Northeast region under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Deb underlined that elections often bring about different outcomes and that political parties shouldn’t assume a permanent hold on any specific set of votes. He noted that TIPRA Motha had secured over 8,000 votes in the previous election, but historical voting patterns might not dictate future results. This time, TIPRA Motha hasn’t fielded a candidate, but Deb anticipated that voters would still participate and the outcome could swing.

The former Chief Minister discredited the conventional notion that voter compositions solely determine electoral victories. He referenced the 2018 Tripura Assembly elections, where the BJP secured a landslide victory despite historical trends. According to Deb, the current political landscape favors the BJP.

TIPRA Motha, established in 2021 by Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma, contested its first Assembly election in February of that year and won 13 seats, despite losing in Dhanpur and Boxanagar. Deb pointed out that the state’s former royal family, including its support during the Bangladesh Liberation War, has contributed to people’s welfare.

Deb implied that TIPRA Motha might lean more towards the BJP despite appearances. He referred to a recent meeting between Pradyot Kishore and Home Minister Amit Shah, suggesting that leaders from Northeast India now find it easier to interact with central government figures.

Regarding the September 5 Assembly bypolls, Deb declined to predict whether TIPRA Motha would align with the BJP, asserting that TIPRA Motha remains an independent party.

Reflecting on his own tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP, Deb highlighted his involvement in numerous initiatives, including allocating funds for projects and actively participating in parliamentary discussions. Deb, who led the BJP’s campaign in Tripura and briefly served as Chief Minister, was subsequently appointed as a Rajya Sabha MP.

In 2021, Deb was replaced as Chief Minister by his former close aide, Dr. Manik Saha, and assumed his current role in the Rajya Sabha.

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