Manik Saha took oath for the second time as Tripura Chief Minister today after the BJP clinched a victory in the February 16 Assembly polls. Eight other ministers were sworn in today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda attended the oath ceremony in Agartala. Accompanying them was Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Chief Minister and architect of the BJP’s Northeast successes.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khanda, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Sikkim Chief Minister PS Tamang were also present. Also on the stage was BJP’s Biplab Deb, who was replaced by Mr Saha mid-term.
Four of the new ministers have been retained from the previous government. They are Ratan Lal Nath, Pranajit Singha Roy , Shantana Chakma and Sushanta Chowdhury. The BJP inducted three new ministers from within its ranks — Tinku Roy, a close confidante of Biplab Deb, Bikash Debbarma, chief of the BJP’s Scheduled Tribes Morcha, and Sudhanshu Das.
The BJP’s ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), which was routed in these elections, got one ministerial berth. Sukla Charan Noatia from IPFT took oath as minister.
The ruling party, the sources said, has kept three ministerial berths aside as it reaches out again to Tipra Motha, which won 13 seats in this election. Talks between the BJP and Tipra Motha, led by former royal Pradyot Manikya Debbarma, earlier fell through over the tribal party’s demand for a ‘Greater Tipraland’.
The sources said Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik will hold on to her parliamentary seat and vacate the Dhanpur Assembly seat she won in this election.
The opposition CPM and the Congress have decided to boycott the swearing-in ceremony to protest against post-poll violence in the state.