Why BJP changes CMs right before elections
- Biplab Deb resigned as Tripura CM Saturday
- Tripura goes to polls next year
- BJP changed CMs in 3 states before polls
Biplab Deb, the Tripura chief minister’s resignation on Saturday may have come as a surprise for the state, but is not a new move for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In state after state, the BJP has changed chief ministers right before the polls. Only last year, the BJP changed CMs in Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Karnataka.
Deb, 50, became Tripura CM in 2018 by defeating the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government that had ruled Tripura for 25 years. With one year to go before Assembly elections, and mounting opposition from the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, the BJP decided Deb had to go.
Also Read | Why did Biplab Kumar Deb resign?
Upon tendering his resignation, Deb said: “I have served the people of Tripura to the best of my capabilities to provide them justice and give them a Left-free state with the ‘marg darshan’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The assembly elections are coming and the party wants be to strengthen the organisation. It is only when the organisation is strong, will there be government.”
BJP’s strategy to change CMs on the eve of polls is often regarded as an attempt to offset anti-incumbency. In Gujarat, Narendra Modi’s state that goes to polls later this year, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had to resign and make way for Bhupendra Patel in September, 2021.
Uttarakhand, which went to polls earlier this year and saw the BJP return to power with a majority, also changed CMs months before the polls. Tirath Singh Rawat resigned after just four months in power to make way for Pushkar Singh Dhami who returned with a thumping majority.
In Karnataka, the removal of BS Yeddyurappa came with its own set of political challenges. The only southern state with a BJP government, Narendra Modi’s party had to tread lightly so as to not alter demographic balances. The party came up with Basavaraj Bommai, who has been leading the state through a particularly turbulent time over communal troubles.
Biplab Deb is being replaced by Manik Saha, Tripura BJP chief and a member of the Rajya Sabha. The 69-year-old dental surgeon-turned-CM said, “I was a common worker of the party and will continue to be so.”
Biplab Deb congratulated Manik Saha saying, “Congratulations and best wishes to @DrManikSaha2 ji on being elected as the legislature party leader. I believe under PM Shri @narendramodi Ji’s vision and leadership Tripura will prosper.”