Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday inducted three new faces – Ram Prasad Paul, Sushanta Chowdhury, Bhagaban Chandra Das – into his cabinet.

This is the first cabinet expansion after the BJP–IPFT alliance assumed office in March 2018 after defeating the Left parties in the Assembly polls.

Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya administered the oath of office and secrecy to Paul, Chowdhury, and Das at a function in Raj Bhavan.

Chief Minister Deb, his council of ministers and other dignitaries including Union Minister Pratima Bhowmik and four central BJP leaders were present.

Former Tripura BJP-Vice President Paul, 55, and 42-year-old MLA Chowdhury were elected to the Assembly in the 2018 polls for the first time from western Tripura.

Das is the saffron party’s northern Tripura leader who was also elected to the Assembly for the first time.

With the elevation of 47-year-old Das, the long-awaited demand for a minister belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community was fulfilled.

As per reports, those BJP MLAs who were not accommodated in the Cabinet would be the chairpersons from among the 31 Public Sector Undertakings and Corporations.

Amidst open resentment by a section of the ruling BJP MLAs and leaders in Tripura, the Cabinet expansion took place on Tuesday afternoon, even as the dissident MLAs and BJP leaders boycotted the swearing-in-ceremony.

The MLAs–who skipped the event– are Sudip Roy Barman, Ashish Kumar Saha, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, Ashish Das, and Burba Mohan Tripura.

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