If the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manages to win the assembly elections in Tripura again, the North-East may well get its first woman chief minister.
According to a report by the New Indian Express, all eyes are on Pratima Bhoumik, the 53-year-old Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment, who has been fielded in the Tripura assembly elections by the BJP.
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She has been fielded from Dhanpur assembly constituency to give a message to the people of the state that she could be a candidate for the post of chief ministership, the report quoted sources.
Pratima, a Lok Sabha MP, became the first minister from Tripura in the Union ministry. She was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tripura West on a BJP ticket in 2019 and was inducted in the Union ministry in 2021.
Pratima has been a member of the BJP since 1991 and has risen through the ranks in the party. She is a popular leader and is known as Didi by her supporters. Earlier, in 2016, she was inducted into the former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s team as state general secretary.
Close to Biplab Deb
Considered close to Biplab Deb, her candidature in the assembly elections is being seen as an attempt by the central leadership to assuage the Biplab camp which has not taken to his removal well, the report said adding, that the Biplab-Pratima combination continues to be the dominant force in the state BJP.
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The BJP is locked in a tough three-cornered fight in the state, which is going to the polls just three days later on February 16, pitted against CPI(M)-Congress combine and the newly-launched Tipra Motha party by Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma.