AGARTALA, March 9 - Biplab Deb, who was chosen leader of the legislator party unanimously, was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the State in a mega programme at the Assam Rifles Ground here today.
Governor Tathagata Roy administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 47-year-old BJP leader in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party�s national president Amit Shah, patriarch LK Advani and senior leader Murli Monohar Joshi. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, MoS of PMO Jitendra Singh, several Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar also attended the ceremony.
Eight Cabinet ministers, including Jishu Dev Barman as Deputy Chief Minister, NC Debbarma (IPFT president), Ratan Lal Nath, Sudip Roy Barman, Pranajit Singha Roy, Manoj Kanti Deb, Mever Kumar Jamatia (IPFT) and Santana Chakma, also took the oath today.
Sources said that three more Cabinet ministers will be named later on, though there is no statement from the party yet in this regard.
The surprise of the day was the inclusion of 26-year-old girl Santana Chakma, who won from the obscure Pechartal Assembly Constituency, into the Cabinet. Party leaders were surprised when Santana�s name was announced to take the oath as a Cabinet minister. Santana, who did her MA from Tripura University, took oath in her mother tongue - Chakma, one of the 19 tribal languages in Tripura.
The first Cabinet meet of the BJP-IPFT is scheduled for March 10, sources said.
�The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister did not turn up at the Civil Secretariat on the day of swearing-in ceremony,� said a senior State government official.
Addressing the mammoth swearing-in ceremony of the BJP-IPFT combine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre will extend full support to Tripura�s vikash yatra (prosperity). �Your dream is my dream. We will give full support to fulfil the aspirations of the 27 lakh people of the State,� he said.
The BJP-led alliance had won 43 seats, while the CPI(M)-led Left Front could garner only 16 seats in the recent Assembly elections.
The Prime Minister added that the NDA government is giving priority to the aspirations of the people of the Northeast. �I have visited the Northeast 25 times in the past four years, which no other Prime Minister did so far. I assure you of good governance and implement of the slogan of �Sab ka saath, sab ka vikash�,� he promised.
In his brief speech, Shah said the team led by Biplab Deb will take the State to the path of development. �People waited long to see development in its true sense. As they reposed faith on the leadership of Narendra Modi, it will definitely bring a rich harvest for the people here,� he said.