Agartala: The first day of two days monsoon session of the Tripura legislative assembly today elected former minister of Congress-TUJS coalition government and turned coat BJP MLA Ratan Chakraborty unopposed as a new speaker.
The post was left vacant three weeks ago after incumbent speaker Rebati Mohan Das resigned with the advice of the party and had been appointed as BJP vice president following pressure to accommodate the loyalist of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
Chakraborty’s selection to the post has made BJP MLAs of North Tripura and South Tripura districts unhappy besides, tribal MLAs. The Biplab Deb’s cabinet has no representative of South Tripura and North Tripura.
As a result, renowned advocate and senior politician Arun Chandra Bhowmik elected from Belonia of South Tripura was the strong contender for the speaker post.
Similarly, Deputy Speaker, the lone representative of North Tripura, has been battling for the speaker post when he was denied a ministerial berth. The veteran tribal politicians and BJP loyalists Rampada Jamatia and DC Hrangkhawal were also in the race for the speaker post, as no important post was given to indigenous leaders by BJP.
“Despite having over 30 per cent tribal population and 68 per cent occupation of the state’s geography, all important posts of BJP are given to the non-tribal. The party president, an intruder from Congress – a non-tribal has been made BJP state president, non-resident Bangalee is made Chief Minister, three new ministers are non-tribal, one central minister is also non-tribal, the speaker is non-tribal although crocodile tears rolling from BJP leaders for tribal. We understood the status of the tribal in BJP,” said veteran BJP tribal MLA after Chakraborty was announced elected as speaker.
In the 70 years old, a graduate from Calcutta University and well articulate Ratan Chakraborty was first time elected from Congress ticket in 1988 and became information and cultural affairs, minister. He had also won the 1993 election with a Congress ticket but his party lost the battle. Thereafter, he joined Trinamool Congress and in 2013 again had returned to congress.
Before, 2018 assembly poll he joined BJP and contested from the Khayerpur constituency and defeated CPI-M stalwart Pabitra Kar. From the very first day, Chakraborty was the aspirant for a cabinet berth but he couldn’t succeed. During the recent cabinet expansion, he was one of the front runners but Biplab Kumar Deb didn’t consider him; instead inducted Susanta Choudhury, a first time MLA from the next seat of Ratan Chakraborty.