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Tripura Health Minister dropped, Cabinet expansion likely
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, June 1 - In a significant move, Health and Family Welfare Minister Sudip Roy Barman, one of the best performers in the Biplab Kumar Deb Cabinet, was dropped on Friday night, official sources said here.

Besides the Health and Family Welfare Department, Roy Barman, who switched over from the Trinamul Congress to the BJP prior to the 2018 Assembly elections, was the Minister in-charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation, IT and Science and Technology.

Though the Government did not cite any specific reasons for dropping Roy Barman from the BJP-IPFT Cabinet, reports suggested that he was at loggerheads with the Chief Minister on “some issues” during the last few months.

The Chief Minister was reportedly unhappy with the pre-poll activities of Roy Barman and had publicly declared that tough action would be taken against those who are hatching a conspiracy against the Government.

The Chief Minister, who is the BJP State president, had been keeping a watchful eye on the activities of some party leaders including ministers and dropping of Roy Barman was a long-decided decision of Deb.

Roy Barman, son of former Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Barman, has been in politics for the past 35 years and proven his political acumen by joining the BJP just before the last Assembly polls along with 10 other Trinamul Congress MLAs.

His switching over to the BJP has proved beneficial for himself as well as the saffron party which did not have a single MLA in the 60-member Tripura Assembly before the last Assembly polls. Most importantly, all the 11 MLAs who had joined the BJP, won the 2018 Assembly elections.

Sources said the nine-member Council of Ministers in the State – which has come down to eight following Roy Barman’s ouster – will be expanded after the Panchayat elections in July this year. The expansion has been long overdue as three slots had been kept vacant. A change of the party president is also overdue as the Chief Minister continues to hold the post though the BJP scrupulously follows the policy of one man, one post.

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