Agartala: Biplab Kumar Deb today took oath as chief minister of Tripura, assuming the charge of the first BJP government in the State after ending the 25-year rule of the Left Front.

Governor Tathagata Roy also administered the oath of office to BJP leader Jishnu Deb Burman as the deputy chief minister along with seven other ministers, including IPFT chief NC Debbarma.

The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) is an ally of the BJP in the northeastern State.

The swearing-in ceremony held at the Assam Rifles ground was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

Chief ministers of BJP-ruled states – Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam), Raghubar Das (Jharkhand) besides others also attended the function.

Outgoing Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar also attended the event.

Biplab Kumar Deb, who became the first BJP chief minister of Tripura, the ‘red bastion’ which fell to the ‘saffron force’ in the recent assembly poll, has come a long way since his days in the RSS.

Deb (48) became the tenth chief minister of the northeastern State. He joins the ranks of young chief ministers of the country along with Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh) and the newly-elected Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.

Like Manik Sarkar, the Marxist chief minister he replaced, Deb had a humble beginning.

Born into a middle-class Bengali family at Rajdhar Nagar village in Tripura’s Gomati district on 25 November 1971, his father Haradhan Deb was a local leader of the Jana Sangh.

He completed his graduation from the Udaipur College in the State in 1999 and left for Delhi soon after to join the RSS.

He served the right-wing organisation for around 16 years under the guidance of Gobinda Acharya and Krishnagopal Sharma, two prominent Sangh leaders.

Deb returned to Tripura in 2015 and assumed the charge of central Jana Sampark Pramukh of BJP, and was made the State president of the saffron party on 6 January 2016 replacing Sudhindra Dasgupta, the longest-serving chief of the party in Tripura.

His wife Niti is an officer of the State Bank of India. The couple has a son and a daughter.

The BJP demolished the Left citadel in Tripura, where polls were held on 18 February. The saffron party won a two-third majority with ally IPFT and ended the 25 year-long uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led rule in the northeastern State.

PTI