Agartala: Caretaker Chief Minister Manik Saha, who on Monday evening was elected the BJP’s legislature party leader by the newly elected saffron party MLAs, met Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya in the Raj Bhavan late Monday evening and staked claim to form a BJP-led government for its second term in Tripura.
“After being elected as the Leader of the Legislature Party, called on Governor to stake claim to form the government in the state. My sincere gratitude to all for electing me as the leader of the legislature party. Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we shall work together to build ‘Unnata Tripura, Shrestha Tripura’ and ensure the welfare of all sections of people,” Saha wrote on Twitter.
Many central BJP leaders and Chief Ministers have congratulated Saha, who was the party’s Chief Ministerial face in the February 16 assembly elections.
Earlier on Monday evening, Assam’s Transport Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, who was the BJP’s central observer in the legislature party meeting, announced Saha’s name as the legislature party leader.
Saha’s name was proposed by Union Minister of State Pratima Bhowmik, who for the first time was elected to the state assembly from Dhanpur assembly constituency.
The swearing-in-ceremony of the Chief Minister and the new council of ministers would be held here at Vivekananda stadium here on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President J.P. Nadda, several central leaders and Chief Ministers would attend the event.
In the February 16 Assembly polls, the BJP won 32 seats, one more than the magic figure of 31 in the 60-member Assembly, while its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura got one.
Saha was re-elected from the Town Bordowali seat for the second time after defeating his nearest Congress opponent Ashish Kumar Saha by a margin of 1,257 votes.
Manik Saha was first elected to the state Assembly in the by-poll held in June last year by defeating Ashish Kumar Saha by a margin of 6,104 votes.
The 70-year-old BJP leader, who was also the state unit chief of the BJP and Rajya Sabha member for a brief period, took oath as the chief minister last year on May 15, a day after former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from the top post. The BJP retained power in Tripura for the second straight term.
The tribal-based Tipra Motha Party (TMP), which for the first time contested 42 seats on its own, emerged as the second largest party by securing 13 seats.
The CPI-M won 11 seats while the Congress bagged three.
The CPI-M-led Left Front, which contested the elections in a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress, had fielded 47 candidates while 13 seats were allotted to the Congress. BJP ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) won the Jolaibari seat in southern Tripura.
In the 2018 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 36 seats, its ally IPTF bagged eight seats while the CPI-M had secured 16 seats.