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Agartala, March 3, 2018

Among the many names doing the rounds for Tripura’s next chief minister is that of Biplab Kumar Deb, the 48-year-old state party chief.

A former RSS volunteer, Deb is the party’s face and is credited for its turnaround in the state. Deb, who according to some reports, used to work as a gym trainer in Delhi, was instrumental in ‘acquiring’ some of the former Congress MLAs last year. He carried out door-to-door campaigns for the party in the run-up to the elections.

Deb was handpicked for the job by Sunil Deodhar, a former RSS Pracharak, BJP’s national executive member and the man in-charge of Tripura. A Maharashtrian who had worked in Meghalaya for eight years during his RSS days, Deodhar, along with Deb expanded BJP’s base among the tribals who comprise 32% of the state’s population — there are 20 (out of 60) reserved seats for Schedule Tribes.

“We needed a face for the BJP in Tripura, and I found no one as smart as Biplab. In early ’90s, I taught him how to wield a dand (lathi) in the shakha.
The BJP Parliamentary Board will meet this evening to decide on the name, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said. “Our Parliamentary Board (the party’s highest decision making body) will meet in the evening and take a call,” he said.

The BJP Parliamentary Board comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari besides a few others.

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