Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb is a gift to headline writers. It is not even two months since he took over from Manik Sarkar, the CPI(M) veteran who was Chief Minister for 20 years. Yet, Mr. Deb has held the spotlight on himself for one gaffe after another.
Silly remarks made by CM
- He has said, in a literal manner, that the Internet and satellite communication were in use in ancient India, and that instances of their use could be referenced in the Mahabharata.
- Freely jumping across themes, he has compared the Indianness of the beauty of Miss Worlds.
- He has most recently said, very seriously, that civil engineers are better trained to be in the civil services compared to mechanical engineers as the former “know how to build society”.
- He asked the people of Tripura to consider how much richer they would be if they had kept a cow or sold paan.
Important victory for BJP
In the days after the BJP swept the February Assembly election, winning 35 of the 60 seats on its own, with ally the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura bringing in another eight, it was said the victory in the State was as valuable to the party as its earlier achievement in Uttar Pradesh.
It is against this backdrop that Mr. Deb’s irrational remarks reveal the BJP to be completely out of its depth after its historic victory.
Social indicators of Tripura
Tripura had moved up the development indices. According to the 2011 Census, with a literacy rate of about 87% it ranked fifth in India. Its sex ratio is a relatively respectable 960, and mortality rates for infants and children have been drastically reduced. On the flip side, Tripura’s good social health indices are not matched by those on the economic front — its per capita income has languished below the national average, its infrastructure facilities are poor and unemployment rate is extremely high. This is what Mr. Deb seeks to mock. Rather than make laughable references to technological prowess in a mythical age, he would do better to envisage and execute a firm plan to strengthen the State’s economic health.
(Adapted from The Hindu)