A DAY after he called a public meeting on December 13 to seek the people’s “mandate” on whether he should continue in office in the face of intense factionalism in the BJP state unit, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday called it off following intervention of the party’s central leadership, said the sources. Deputy CM Jishnu Debbarma along with the party leadership to clarify this matter today through a press conference. Sources said the BJP central leadership stepped in to resolve the internal crisis — triggered by allegations from a section of leaders about Deb’s “dictatorial” style of functioning — hours after the chief minister’s Tuesday announcement. BJP national president J P Nadda spoke to Deb following which the public meeting was cancelled. Sources in the BJP said Deb has been asked to focus on governance issues while the central leadership would resolve the internal issues in the party’s state unit. Several party MLAs expressed their displeasure over Deb’s style of functioning when they met Sonkar during his maiden visit to the state in his capacity as central observer earlier this week. Some MLAs claimed that Deb has been running the government as well as the party unit without consulting other leaders. A group of party supporters also raised slogans against Deb — in Sonkar’s presence — on Sunday. Sonkar, who met each of the 36 MLAs individually, later briefed Nadda about the situation. The sources said the central leadership, although convinced about some issues raised by the MLAs, does not want to replace the chief minister as it could set off similar demands in other state units where disgruntled MLAs have raised issues against the chief ministers. They said the party leadership is “annoyed” with Deb’s Tuesday’s announcement — which was apparently not discussed with the central leadership — and added that it has “weakened” the party structure in Tripura.