|9th Chief Minister of Tripura|
11 March 1998
|Preceded by||Dasarath Deb|
22 January 1949 |
|Political party||Communist Party of India (Marxist)|
Manik Sarkar (Bengali: মাণিক সরকার Bengali Pronunciation: Manik Shôrkar; born 22 January 1949) is an Indian politician who has been Chief Minister of Tripura since March 1998. He is a Politburo Member of Communist Party of India (Marxist). In March 2008, he was sworn in as leader of Left Front, the Tripura coalition government. In assembly elections held in 2013, he became the chief minister for the fourth consecutive time.
Manik Sarkar donates his CM salary and allowances to his party, which pays him 5000 (US$79) as subsistence allowances. His affidavit for the 2013 Tripura Assembly election revealed that he may well be the one with lowest monetary resources of all Chief Ministers of India.
Early life and background
Manik Sarkar was born into a middle-class family in Radhakishorepur, near Udaipur, Tripura, on January 22, 1949. His father, Amulya Sarkar, worked as a tailor, while his mother, Anjali Sarkar, was a State and later Provincial government employee. Sarkar became active in student movements in his student days, and in 1968, at the age of 19, he became a member of one of the major political parties of India, the Marxist Communist Party. He was a candidate of the Students' Federation of India throughout his academic life at MBB College, from where he graduated with a B. Com. degree. During his first year at the college there came the turbulent times of the food movement of 1967, campaigning against the policy of the then Congress government of Tripura, and Sarkar threw himself headlong into the related student struggle. His vigorous role in this mass movement led him to join the Communists. Due to his early political exposure, he also became the General Secretary of the MBB College Student Union and was also made the Vice President of the Students' Federation of India. In 1972, at the early age of 23, he joined the State Committee of the Communist (Marxist) Party.
Six years after being selected in the CPI (M) State Committee, Sarkar was included in the party state Secretariat in the year 1978. This was also the year when the first Left Front government had taken control in Tripura. In 1980, at the age of 31, he was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Agartala constituency. This was the start of Manik Sarkar's leadership in his state. At around the same time, he was appointed as the Chief Whip of the CPI (M). His success as the Member of the Legislative Assembly returned in 1983, when he was elected to the Assembly from Krishnanagar, Agartala. When the Left Front government took control in 1993, Sarkar was appointed as the State Secretary of the CPI (M). The biggest success came to Manik Sarkar in 1998. At the age of 49, he became a member of the politburo of the CPI (M), which is the principal policy-making and executive committee in a Communist party. In the same year, he became the Chief Minister of the state of Tripura. Since then, he has been elected to the same position for four consecutive times in 15 years  He is one of the very few chief Ministers in India who are in the office for such a long period of time.
Manik Sarkar is married to Panchali Bhattacharya, who has retired from Central Social Welfare Board in 2011. Sarkar and his wife live a very simple life. He is the only Chief Minister in India who has no house or a car on his name. Even his wife takes a rickshaw while traveling, with no personal security guards. Sarkar donates his full salary that he receives as a Chief Minister to his party and in return, gets Rs. 5,000 (approximately $77 USD) per month as his allowance. Some official sources list his monthly salary as the lowest salary among all the Chief Ministers in India. Sarkar has often be called the "cleanest and the poorest Chief Minister in the country". He has enjoyed a corruption-free image even among his critics. In 2008, Sarkar's cash in hand and bank deposits totalled Rs.16,120. According to his latest election affidavit, this amount has come down to Rs.10,800. In 2009, on the death of his mother, Anjali Sarkar, Sarkar inherited a small house in Agartala and gave it to another family member.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Manik Sarkar.|
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|Chief Minister of Tripura
12 December 1998 – present