Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has stirred up a fresh controversy after disclosing that former BJP President Amit Shah has plans to establish a government in Nepal and Sri Lanka, or at the very least, expand the party into India's neighbours.
According to a report in news portal East Mojo, during a party program in Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan on Saturday, Deb said that Amit Shah during his visit to Tripura, in a tea party with the state leadership, said that he plans to establish the party in neighbouring countries after winning in most of the states in India.
“We were talking in the state guest house when Ajay Jamwal (North-East Zonal Secretary of BJP) said that BJP has formed its government in several states of India, in reply Shah said, Now Sri Lanka and Nepal is left. We have to expand the party in Sri Lanka, Nepal and win there to form a government,” the Chief Minister said quoting the Union Home Minister.
According to the report, Deb said it was only under the leadership of Amit Shah that the BJP became the world’s largest party. "The communist had claimed that their party was the largest in the world, which Amit Shah broke by making BJP the largest party in the world. Deendayal Upadhyaya’s party, Shyama Prasad’s party, Prishtha Pramukh’s party," Deb added.
"The BJP will change the trend of change of government between the Left and the Congress every five years in Kerala and emerge as the winner in the southern state as well," he said.
Reacting to this, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy tweeted saying, "Was the CM joking? Or sarcastic? He could not be serious."
It is not immediately clear how serious Deb was about Shah's purported remarks. While expanding an Indian political party into other countries is a new idea, this concept has been witnessed elsewhere in the world as well, though along ideological underpinnings. For instance, Nepal is currently ruled by a communist party which is said to have close links with the Chinese CCP, currently the most significant Communist force in the world.
Biplab Deb is also hardly new to overstatements or controversies. Last year, the Tripura CM was in hot water after making highly controversial remarks at an event where he drew a comparison between people of Punjab and Haryana with Bengalis. Addressing a conference of the Tripura Electronic Media Society at Agartala, he appallingly said the Punjabis and Haryanvis are physically strong but have "dull brains" whereas nobody can beat the "wit and the brain of a Bengali."
Even before that, he has made the headlines for claiming that advanced technologies such as telecommunications satellites, TVs and missiles were available to those fighting the Mahabharata war, in all seriousness.