In a surprise move, the BJP made Rajya Sabha MP Manik Saha the new chief minister of Tripura, replacing Biplab Kumar Deb who resigned earlier on Saturday.
The BJP's state president, Saha, was elected the leader of the legislature party at a meeting at the chief minister's official residence soon after Deb resigned to Governor SN Arya.
As Deb proposed the 69-year-old Saha name in the meeting, Minister Ram Prasad Paul protested, which led to a scuffle among MLAs. Paul broke a number of chairs before the situation calmed, sources said.
Paul wanted deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, a member of the erstwhile Tripura royal family, to be the next chief minister of the state, they said.
Senior BJP leaders, Vinod Tawde and Bhupender Yadav, were observers for the election of the legislature party leader.
I was a common worker of the party and will continue to be so, Saha told reporters after being named the next chief minister.
Deb, 50, resigned a day after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda in New Delhi.
I am a loyal member of the BJP. I hope I have done justice to the responsibilities that were given to me - whether it was as the BJP state president or as Tripura chief minister. After resigning, Deb said that I have worked for the overall development of Tripura and to ensure peace for the people of the state.
The party wants a responsible organiser to take over the affairs with the help of the 2023 election. He said that the party's decision to give him organisational responsibilities is due to the fact that a government can only be formed if the organisation is strong.
In 2018, Deb was appointed the chief minister after the BJP sacked power, ending 25 years of Left Front rule in the Northeastern state.