AGARTALA, Dec 9 - In a dramatic development, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has convened a rally on the Vivekananda Ground here on December 13 for a �referendum� on whether he should continue to lead the State or not.
Chief Minister Deb has lately been facing rebellion from a section of MLAs and workers. During the recent visit of the newly-elected BJP prabhari, Vinod Kumar Sonkar, a group of BJP workers had raised slogans against Deb, demanding his removal.
At a press conference here last night, Deb announced that he would go to the Vivekananda Ground on that day and ask the people of Tripura whether he should stay as the Chief Minister or not.
�If the people do not support me, I will inform the party high command,� the Chief Minister announced. Deb, who led the BJP to a landslide victory in the 2018 Assembly elections, highlighted his Government�s performance in the last three years.
�I am indebted to the people of Tripura who have made me the Chief Minister. I have been doing my best to develop Tripura,� he said.
Meanwhile, senior party leaders claimed that Deb did not speak to them before making the �extreme and untimely� announcement.
NC Debbarma, the senior-most minister in the State Cabinet, has disapproved of the Chief Minister�s move of seeking a referendum. �The Chief Minister is not directly elected by the people, rather he/she is elected by the MLAs. At best, he can seek a confidence vote in the Assembly to show his strength. Deb did not discuss the matter in the Cabinet meeting that he chaired during the day,� Debbarma, who is also the president of the Indigenous People�s Front of Tripura (IPFT), said.
In a Facebook post, BJP MLA Ram Prasad Paul said, �The people elect a government and MLAs choose the Chief Minister. Staging unnecessary dramas one after another defame party�s image � and give advantage to the CPI (M).�
Meanwhile, sources said that BJP prabhari Sonkar favoured Deb to continue serving the people of Tripura, leaving it to the party to resolve any differences within the organisational set-up.
In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the ruling combine of the BJP and the IPFT have 36 and eight MLAs respectively.