CM Biblap Kumar Deb’s love for gyms leaves Agartala cold
CM Biplab Kumar Deb has courted yet another controversy by inaugurating a gymnasium in the state secretariat. Last year he was criticised for setting up a gym in the CM’s official residence
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has courted yet another controversy by inaugurating a gymnasium in the state secretariat. Last year he was criticised for setting up a gym in the CM’s official residence and allegedly renovating it lavishly.
While the chief minister, reportedly a former gym instructor who lived and worked in Delhi for 15 years before returning to state politics in 2016 and leading the BJP to topple the CPM Government in Tripura, is known as a ‘fitness’ Pracharak, the pictures of the CM in the gym have not gone down well with a section of the people.
The gym set up in the state secretariat has two treadmills, two multi gyms and a multi bench with weight bars and weight plates. The modest gym has been set up at a cost of over ₹4 lakh and the CM is being roundly criticised for wasting public money.
Tripura is reeling under power cuts and, not surprisingly, sarcastic comments that civil servants should cut off exclusive power supply for themselves and exercise in the dark flooded social networks.
In April last year, state Congress leader Birjit Sinha had accused Deb of wasting public money in lavishly furnishing the CM’s residence after long-time CM Manik Sarkar vacated it.
The chief minister has brushed aside public criticism by claiming that he was trying to change the work culture. Physical fitness would help build a healthy and alert mind as well, he has declared.
But the unemployed youth in the state, who had earlier been advised by Deb to open paan shops and milk cows rather than run after government jobs, are not amused.
Tripura tops all other states in India in unemployment rate. According to CMIE report in May-2019, Tripura’s unemployment rate has been recorded at 30.2%.
Before the Assembly election held in 2018, the then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced while releasing the party’s manifesto that 50,000 vacant posts under Govt of Tripura would be filled up within one year if BJP was voted to power.
But the Govt after assuming office scrapped as many as 1377 posts. The state government also cancelled all ongoing recruitment processes, affecting around 8000 job aspirants. Various cases were filed in the High Court of Tripura in this regard.
Deb has in the past hogged headlines by making controversial statements. Some of them are the following:
· Internet and satellite communication existed in the days of Mahabharata
· Diana Hayden and Aishwarya Rai were not ‘Indian’ beauties and unworthy of being crowned Miss World.
· Ducks can add to oxygen in lakes and other water bodies
· Civil Engineers and not Mechanical Engineers should join the civil Service.
· Unemployed youth should open paan shops and rear cows instead of running after Govt jobs.
· Tagore returned his Nobel Prize in protest against British Rule. (The poet returned the Knighthood in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre)