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Want to work together with opposition MLAs for Tripura’s development: Biplab Deb

The CM-designate, Biplab Kumar Deb, said his government’s priorities would be to strengthen law and order, introduce better work ethics, generate more revenue, and boost education and health infrastructure.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2018 20:17 IST
Tripura CM-designate Biplab Deb,Biplab Deb swearing in,Gym instructor
Tripura chief minister-elect Biplab Kumar Deb interacts with media ahead of his swearing-in ceremony on March 9, in Agartala on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Tripura’s chief minister-designate Biplab Kumar Deb promised good governance, which he said the state has been missing in the 25 years of Left Front rule.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party upstaged one of the longest democratically elected communist governments in the country, with a thumping victory in this February’s assembly elections, Deb said in an interview to Priyanka Deb Barman on Wednesday that his government’s priorities would be to strengthen law and order, introduce better work ethics, generate more revenue, and boost education and health infrastructure.

The 47-year-old leader comes from a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) background and his family adhered to the organisation’s ideology. His father, Hirudhan Deb, contested assembly polls thrice on a BJP ticket for the Kakraban constituency — the last time in 1998.

The young Deb was a graduate when he left his birthplace, Jamjuri, a small village in Gomati district, for New Delhi around 15 years ago, but returned to the state in 2015 as head of the Mahajan Sampark Abhiyan — an outreach programme of the RSS. He became the BJP’s Tripura unit chief in 2016.

Deb thanked the people for choosing him to work for them. Excerpts:

From Mahajan Sampark Abhiyan state in charge to chief minister, how was the journey?

No journey can be planned in advance … A government is formed by the people and they have elected me. People here have been stuck with a regime of party cadre steeped in cruelty. If there is cruelty, there is no development. People have given me a chance to work for them and my focus will be to give them good governance.

What will be your priorities as chief minister?

We will strengthen law and order. We will not allow ‘goondaraj’ [hooliganism] at any cost. Besides, we will develop education and health infrastructure, generate revenue, strengthen public-sector units and, above all, introduce a proper and unbiased work culture.

Earlier, the party used to control work culture. It will not happen anymore. I want to work together with opposition party MLAs for the state’s development. If required, I can contact former chief minister Manik Sarkar for his suggestions.

Will leftist leaders attend your swearing-in on March 9?

We will invite the CPI(M) leaders … Prime Minister Narendra Modiji will be here too. We will invite them, but there is no compulsion for them to be at the event.

Was it bad governance by the Left Front or the Congress’ failure as an opposition that gave the BJP such a huge victory in Tripura?

I should not discuss about the Congress or Trinamool Congress’s failure now, but focus on how to move towards a bright future.

Will your government rename roads in the state and introduce a new education policy?

The Union human resource development ministry had revamped the NCERT curriculum. We will hopefully follow these guidelines and try not to promote bookish knowledge. We will try to find and fix the gaps in the education system. As for the roads, we will think about it later.

Students should know Indian culture and tradition as well as national and local heroes. Do we need to know so much about leaders in Russia? Local heroes such as Dipa Karmakar were not highlighted much. Budding gymnasts could be inspired to follow in her footsteps if we play up her feat. The history of Tripura’s Manikya dynasty rulers were excluded from the curriculum after 1998.

Who will be your cabinet colleagues?

As of now I can say that Jishnu Devvarma will assist me. The names of cabinet ministers will be announced later.

Do you condemn the demolition of Russian communist icon Vladimir Lenin’s statues in Tripura after the polls?

I have heard but didn’t get any report personally about these events. The intelligence bureau’s reports say peace prevails in most parts of the state. The razing of the statues might be the anger of a section of CPI(M) workers who have changed their colour to saffron [the shade identified with the BJP].

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 20:16 IST