Biplab Deb, A Long-Time RSS Functionary, To Be The New Chief Minister Of Tripura
Biplab Deb, A Long-Time RSS Functionary, To Be The New Chief Minister Of TripuraBiplab Deb

Another Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member has become the chief minister of an Indian state. Biplab Deb, a long-time functionary of the Sangh, was unanimously elected as the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) combine that swept to power in Tripura.

The indigenous tribals of the state, who form a little over 30 per cent of the remote state's population, have been accorded due respect and importance for the first time with Jishnu Devvarman, a member of the state's erstwhile royal family, being chosen as the Deputy Chief Minister.

The selection of Devvarman is significant since tribals and non-tribals (mostly Bengali Hindu migrants from erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) have a long history of conflict. Tribal separatist militant outfits had waged armed struggle before they were crushed.

The IPFT has been demanding a separate state for tribals, but the BJP has not endorsed this demand and believes that accelerated development of the tribal-inhabited hill areas under a BJP-led coalition government will dampen this demand. Also, the selection a tribal as the Deputy Chief Minister will assuage the feelings of the tribals, who have long been neglected and kept in poverty by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, which has ruled the state for many terms.

Jishnu Devvarman, a soft-spoken, erudite, well-educated and thorough gentleman, is expected to be a foil to the more strident among the tribals, who want a separate state of Twipraland, a demand that the majority Bengali Hindus of the state view with great alarm. Devvarman and Biplab Deb – also a soft-spoken, mild-mannered and cheerful person who leads by consensus and carries with him the discipline of the Sangh – are expected to be the perfect team.


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