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This article was first published 1 year ago  » News » Why Are Tripura's BJP MLAs Leaving The Party?

Why Are Tripura's BJP MLAs Leaving The Party?

Last updated on: December 29, 2022 18:41 IST
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IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of development projects in Agartala, December 18, 2022, as Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha looks on. Photograph: ANI Photo

While Opposition MLAs in other states are dumping their parties to join the Bharatiya Janata Party, Tripura is seeing a reverse trend.

In Tripura, either BJP MLAs are quitting the party to join its rivals or keeping their cards close to their chests and not revealing their next move.

These exits come weeks before the north eastern state goes to the polls.

The exodus is surprising because the BJP won three out of four assembly by-elections in June 2022.

Since then, 5 BJP MLAs and three from its ally, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, have left their respective parties.

Veteran MLA Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl was the most recent exit from the BJP; he resigned from the Tripura assembly on Wednesday, December 28, 2022.

The BJP now has 30 MLAs in the 60-member assembly; the IPFT has five.

When the BJP won 35 seats in the 2018 assembly elections, the difference in vote share between the party and the Left was just 1.37 per cent. The Congress came a distant third.

Meet the BJP-IPFT MLAs who have quit the ruling alliance:


Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl

The tribal leader was elected from the Karamcherra assembly seat in 2018.

A former Congressman, who was elected thrice to the assembly, he joined the BJP just before the 2018 elections.

Congress leader Baptu Chakraborty and party spokesperson Prashanta Bhattacharya accompanied Hranghkhawl when he went to the assembly to submit his resignation.

A day after resigning as BJP MLA, Hrangkhawal joined the Congress at a rally in Agartala with his supporters.


Sudip Roy Barman

The former health minister in the BJP government quit the party in February to join the Congress.

Barman was with the Trinamool Congress in 2017, before joining the BJP just before the 2018 elections.

Before joining the Trinamool, he was the Congress Legislature Party leader.

He expressed his disapproval of then chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb's leadership and consequently lost his ministership.

In June, he contested the by-election from Agartala on a Congress ticket and won.

IMAGE: Chief Minister Manik Saha at the inauguration of a BJP office in Agartala, December 15, 2022. Photograph: ANI Photo


Ashish Kumar Saha

Another former Congress leader who quit the party to join the Trinamool and later, joined the BJP.

Along with Barman, he opposed then chief minister Deb.

In an interview with, Saha had said, "Majority of the MLAs and ministers in the state were against Biplab Kumar Deb's appointment. He continued to remain the CM with the blessings of the prime minister and home minister."

Later, he quit the BJP, along with Barman, and re-joined the Congress.

Biplab Deb was sacked as CM and the BJP appointed Manik Saha as Tripura's chief minister in May.


Ashish Das

Ashish Das, the BJP MLA from Surma constituency, protested against his party in a unique way: He shaved his head.

He said he had committed a crime by joining the BJP.

Das then visited Kolkata, met Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and joined the TMC.

Before quitting the BJP, Das declared. 'The BJP's national leaders have done nothing to solve the problem of the north-eastern region.'

He was disqualified as an MLA under the anti-defection law in January 2022.

In May, he quit the TMC, stating that the party was ridden with factionalism and had clandestine links with the BJP.


Burba Mohan Tripura

In September, Burba Mohan Tripura resigned as the BJP MLA from Karbook in Gomati district, citing personal reasons.

He was accompanied by Tipra Motha party chief Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma while submitting his resignation to Tripura Assembly Speaker Ratan Chakraborty.

Debbarma -- who heads Tripura's royal family -- quit the Congress to float the Tipra Motha in February 2021. The 44 year old is seeking the formation of a Greater Tipraland, carving out the tribal areas of Tripura to form a new state.

In April 2021, the Tipra Motha swept the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council elections, winning 18 of 28 seats in a direct contest with the BJP-IPFT alliance.


Dhananjoy Tripura

In October, Dhananjoy Tripura -- elected from the Raima Valley constituency in 2018 -- resigned as an IPFT MLA.

Like Burba Mohan Tripura, Dhananjoy Tripura was accompanied by Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma when he resigned from the assembly, which made it clear that he would join the Tipra Motha party, which he did later.

IMAGE: A BJP pre-election rally in Agartala, December 18, 2022, addressed by party supremo Narendra Modi. Photograph: ANI Photo


Brishaketu Debbarma

Brishaketu Debbarma quit the IPFT in July 2021 to join the Tipra Motha party.

The MLA from Simna constituency was disqualified as an MLA because he sent his resignation letter via a messenger, and also because the IPFT petitioned the speaker against his continuance as a legislator.


Mevar Kumar Jamatia

Tribal welfare minister in Biplab Kumar Deb's cabinet, Mevar Kumar Jamatia lost his ministership after Deb was removed as chief minister.

Elected from the Asharambari constituency on an IPFT ticket, he plans to join Pradyut Kishore Manikya Debbarma's Tipra Motha party.

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