Biplab Kumar Deb, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s state president in Tripura, was sworn in as the state’s 10th chief minister in Agartala on Friday. Jishnu Debbarma took oath as the deputy chief minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, attended the ceremony. Left leader and former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was also present. The BJP has replaced the Communist Party of India (Marxist) government in the state after 25 years.

At a public meeting in Tripura after the ceremony, Modi said it was a historic day for the state. “We are lighting the lamp of progress and prosperity,” Modi said. “There is a new vigour and enthusiasm here. I congratulate all those who have taken oath and wish them the very best as they begin their work.”

The prime minister said the formation of a BJP government in Tripura would not have been possible without the people’s support. “In the history of India, there are some elections that will always be discussed. The 2018 Tripura elections will be one such example.”

He added that the BJP government is “for people who voted for us and for those who did not vote for us”.

Deb, who featured prominently on the party’s promotional hoardings across the state in the run-up to the elections, was born in 1969 in a middle class family in Gomti district’s Rajdhar Nagar village. His father was involved with the Jan Sangh, which was the earlier avatar of the BJP.

Deb graduated from Tripura’s Udaipur College in 1999, and soon joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Delhi, NDTV reported. He volunteered with the organisation for 16 years, and was trained by prominent leaders such as KN Govindacharya and Krishnagopal Sharma. In an interview with ahead of the elections, the party’s state convenor and senior RSS office-bearer, Sunil Deodhar, had spoken glowingly of Deb’s leadership, saying that he was one of the most admired leaders within the party’s state unit.

Deodhar brought Deb back to the state in 2016 to replace Sudhindra Dasgupta, the longest-serving BJP chief in Tripura, and made him the youngest state BJP chief. An assessment in 2017 had reportedly showed that Deb was more popular than former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

“I love the people of Tripura,” Deb told NDTV ahead of his swearing-in ceremony. “I even love the communists and Manik Sarkar, but I am annoyed that they got so much time but did not utilise the resources of the state to develop it. We will rebuild it from scratch.”

The BJP won 35 of 59 seats in the February 27 elections and its ally, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, won eight. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) managed to win only 16 seats.