After Leadership Changes in BJP-ruled States Since 2019, Party Repeats ‘CM-change’ Gambit for Tripura


After successfully testing the strategy of going with a new chief ministerial face for state assembly elections, the BJP once again applied it to Tripura. On Saturday, the saffron party’s first-ever CM in the state, Biplab Deb stepped down from the post to make way for Dr Manik Saha.

Rajya Sabha MP Saha is the state BJP’s president and will now face the challenge of keeping all party ranks together ahead of the assembly elections in March 2023. The transition seemed to be smooth and regimental in typical BJP style. The party’s move is an apparent effort to ward off anti-incumbency and stem disgruntlement within its ranks in the state unit.

In the legislative party meeting, Saha was elected as the new leader. Deb, who met union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi a few days ago, congratulated his successor on Twitter and said it had been his pleasure to serve “the people of Tripura”, and that he was “thankful” to the party for giving him the opportunity.

Ahead of assembly polls, the BJP has applied their “CM-change formula” in Uttarakhand, which turned out to work for them. So, they are hopeful the same will happen in Tripura as well. The party has changed five CMs since 2019, including in Gujarat and Karnataka.

Saha is the fourth former Congress leader from the northeast to become CM in the region after joining the BJP, a clear signal that a leader’s electoral value is of paramount importance. Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, Pema Khandu in Arunachal Pradesh and N Biren Singh in Manipur are the other CMs earlier with the Congress.

The what and why of BJP’s formula

Political analysts said the BJP’s move to change CMs, while being flayed by the opposition for doing so, shows that the party analyses its ground feedback and is always ready to address it. A BJP leader said broadly three factors worked behind such changes in the last two to three years: “delivery on the ground, keeping the organisation in good humour and the leader’s popularity”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the Gujarat CM from 2001 to 2014, had favoured a long rope to CMs but after the BJP was defeated in the Jharkhand assembly polls with CM Raghubar Das losing his seat, the party realised the need for changing the leadership.

The BJP has marked a return to more conventional politics with regard to political fault lines such as caste identity in its most recent changes in the central government or in states ruled by the party. Pushing the urge to experiment to the background, it has even preferred leaders who started their career in other political outfits.

In September 2021, the BJP changed Vijay Rupani with Bhupender Patel, who hailed from numerically significant Patel community, as Gujarat CM. While changing the CM in Karnataka, the party replaced Lingayat stalwart BS Yediyurappa with another Lingayat leader Basavaraj S Bommai. In Uttarakhand, it replaced two Thakur CMs with another Thakur. In Assam, the BJP replaced its CM of five years Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma.

(With PTI inputs)

Read all the Latest News , Breaking News and IPL 2022 Live Updates here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Politics

Rajasthan CM Gehlot Plays Down Upset Minister’s Tweet, Says Should Not Be Taken Seriously

A day after Rajasthan sports minister asked to be relieved from his post over the conduct of the CM’s principal secretary, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said Ashok Chandna’s tweet should not be taken seriously as he might be under pressure due to the workload. Chandna on Thursday expressed anguish over the conduct of […]

Read More
Politics

Shivpal Yadav Wants his Seat Changed on Basis of ‘Seniority’, Writes to UP Assembly Speaker

Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) chief and MLA from Etawah’s Jaswantnagar assembly seat Shivpal Yadav has asked the speaker of UP assembly to change his seat. Shivpal, in his letter to UP assembly speaker Satish Mahana, cited ‘seniority’ as the reason behind seeking change of his seat. The 67-year-old politician is currently a Samajwadi Party MLA […]

Read More
Politics

UP May Surprise With Tough Fight for 11th Seat, Bihar on Watch for Ally Arithmetic

As the date nears for elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats on June 10, lobbying by ticket aspirants has intensified across political parties with those set to retire also pushing for another term. While 11 seats are falling vacant in Uttar Pradesh, six members each are retiring from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, five from Bihar […]

Read More