After the BJP swept to power in Tripura ending the Left Front's 25-year-rule, state party chief Biplab Kumar Deb today said he was ready to take on the mantle of chief minister, but a decision on it would be taken by the party's Parliamentary Board.
The BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party, will meet tonight in New Delhi to decide on the future chief minister, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said.
"I am ready to take the responsibility. I will not run away from taking the responsibility," he told reporters here when asked if he would accept the task of chief ministership.
Deb, a gym instructor-turned-politician, thanked the people of Tripura for their overwhelming support and credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah with the party's showing.
"I have already been given a bigger responsibility, the party's state presidentship, which I have been fulfilling to the best of my ability," he said.
The BJP has bagged 32 seats and is leading in three seats in the 60-member Tripura Assembly, while its ally the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura has won seven seats and is ahead in one more.
The CPI(M) has won 11 seats and is leading in five.
Deb assured the people that all promises made in the poll manifesto, which was published as 'vision document', would be implemented.
He said the people of Tripura favourably responded to the BJP's call to root out the CPI(M) government, which has been ruling the state for more than two decades.
"People responded favourably to our call call 'Chalo Paltai' (let's change)," he said.
When the same party forms government in a state and the Centre, it helps in faster development in the state, Deb said.
He alleged that 11 officials of the BJP were murdered allegedly by the goons of the CPI(M).
He also appealed to the people not to resort to post-poll violence.
"We do not believe in the politics of vengeance and hatred, so we appeal to the people to maintain peace and calm," he said.
Deb said the next government's priority would be all-round development of Tripura and the people voted for the BJP as there had been total backwardness in the state under the Manik Sarkar government.
"The word development does not exist in the dictionary of the CPI(M). Our government will provide good governance and time-bound implementation of all developmental works," he said.
Manik Sarkar has been chief minister since 1998. He is a politburo member of the CPI(M) and has been ruling the state for the fourth consecutive time.
Polls in 59 seats, out of the total 60, were held on February 18. The election in one seat was countermanded due to the death of the CPI(M) candidate.