Power games: Tripura may get first woman CM in NorthEast

The BJP is locked in a tough three-cornered fight in the state, but if it manages to pull through, Tripura may well have the first woman chief minister in the northeast.

Published: 13th February 2023 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2023 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

State Elections
Tripura may get first woman CM in NorthEast

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. Pratima, a sitting member of the Lok Sabha, became the first minister from Tripura in the Union ministry. The state had remained unrepresented in the Union council of ministers until her induction. Sources said she has been fielded to give a message to the people of the state that she could be a candidate for the post of chief ministership. Pratima has risen from the ranks in the party and is very popular. She was considered close to former chief minister Biplab Deb. Her candidature is also an attempt by the central leadership to assuage the Biplab camp which has not taken his removal well. Though the present chief minister Manik Saha enjoys popularity in the state, there is no denying the fact that it is the Biplab-Pratima combination that continues to be the dominant force in the state BJP. The party leadership has played a deft hand by fielding Pratima as it brings the Biplab faction to the high-stakes table. The BJP is locked in a tough three-cornered fight in the state, but if it manages to pull through, Tripura may well have the first woman chief minister in the northeast.

Battle for Bengal
KLO chief’s return fuels buzz on state split

Kamtapur Liberation Organisation chief Jeevan Singh has crossed into India from Myanmar, where he has been living in camps close to the border. Jeevan Singh and his associates have waged an armed struggle since the mid-nineties for the formation of a separate Kamtapur state comprising six districts of West Bengal namely Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, Darjeeling, Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda, and four of Assam viz Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara. Sources said that Jeevan Singh has crossed into India following an offer of talks by the Indian security establishment which is seeking long-term peace in the region by engaging all separatist groups. The central government’s decision to engage with KLO has triggered speculations over the terms on which peace may be brokered with the armed insurgents. The KLO has repeatedly asserted that it would not settle for anything less than a separate state. What then is the way forward is the question that is being asked by experts watching the development.

Payment Crisis
Top Russian officials to arrive in Delhi this week

Russian President Vladimir Putin is sending his top finance and banking officials to find a solution for the long-pending payment problem. India and Russia have been trying to find ways to settle India’s mounting dues which now run into billions of dollars. India imports crude oil and military spares and equipment, besides other goods from Russia. Due to the sanctions imposed by western countries on Russia following its attack on Ukraine, the usual channels of payment have been blocked. The two countries have explored many alternatives, but nothing seems to have worked. Among the options explored were settling the payments using Chinese and Emirati currencies, besides the Rupee-Rouble exchange route. Settlement of dues through rupee payment using Vostro accounts also did not work out. Russia has now suggested setting up a new financial authority based in New Delhi. Sources said the Russian side has already discussed the issue with the Reserve Bank of India and the delegation arriving in Delhi this week only has to work out the final details of 
such an authority.


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