If sources within the meeting are to be believed, Ghosh said that the BJP should have won at least 20,000 seats. (File pic/PTI)
Sources told News18 that the former state BJP chief blamed the party’s organisational skills and also took aim at the role of the central agencies that are currently investigating a slew of cases in West Bengal
West Bengal’s recent three-tier panchayat election was in national news due to the incessant violence that killed 19 people, by the admission of chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself. However, in the BJP’s first self-assessment meeting, its national vice president Dilip Ghosh found primary fault with the party’s own organisational skills. Sources say Ghosh at one point seemed to downplay the widespread violence, to the surprise of many BJP leaders including the central leadership who were present. So much so that Ghosh fired a salvo at the role of the central agencies that are currently investigating a slew of cases in Bengal.
‘NO VIOLENCE IN 60% SEATS, THEN WHY POOR RESULT?’
In the first such meeting to analyse the poll results, Dilip Ghosh, who served as Bengal BJP president earlier and is currently national vice president, seemed to put the blame on his own party rather than point fingers at the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). Ghosh is believed to have said in the meeting that 60% of seats saw no violence in the recently held panchayat election in Bengal. He reportedly asked for an explanation of the BJP’s poor electoral show in those seats, to begin with.
This seems to have rattled not just the state leadership but also the likes of Mangal Pandey, Sunil Bansal, and Amit Malviya who were representing 6A, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg. It is also against the stated position of the BJP that the party has “nearly doubled its seat tally” in spite of “bloodcurdling violence in West Bengal” after union home minister Amit Shah tweeted his support for the leaders and cadres of the Bengal unit.
But if sources within the meeting are to be believed, Ghosh said that the BJP should have won at least 20,000 seats. However, no leader chose to discuss the rather eventful proceedings. “I am afraid, I am not at liberty to discuss with you what transpired inside,” said Sukanta Majumdar, who heads the state unit of the BJP.
When Dilip Ghosh was asked about this, he had something different to say. “The BJP’s organisation is in a better condition now. We have been able to put 46-47 thousand candidates this time. Last time, there were 20-21 thousand candidates. Definitely, our strength has increased,” he said.
Interestingly, the same Ghosh is believed to have blamed the “sangathan” (organisation) for what he considers a “poor result” and even went to the extent of accusing cadres of deserting booths at many places.
SALVO AT CENTRAL AGENCIES
Ghosh also trained his guns at central agencies over the role played by them. A source told News18, “Dilip da said central agencies are summoning TMC leaders or their cronies only to treat them with chai and biscuit before letting them go.” He is believed to have alleged that this is having an undesired effect on the psyche of the BJP cadres in the state. This is not the first time for Ghosh to criticise the pace of work of central agencies. Last year, he made a direct comparison between the ED and the CBI, while alleging that the latter was getting “compromised over the years”. Back then, the BJP had to firefight after the TMC reminded that the CBI falls under a union ministry that is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Both the CBI and the ED are looking at a number of high-profile cases in Bengal including the alleged coal and cattle smuggling scams that have seen some of the most influential TMC leaders go to jail.
People close to Ghosh suggest he wasn’t happy with the narrative of a resounding victory of the BJP in the face of absolute anarchy. They add that in the 2018 panchayat election when Ghosh was in charge, the violence was such that more than 30% of seats went uncontested and the Calcutta High Court had to step in to facilitate the submission of nominations through WhatsApp. “So he feels Team Majumdar is given credit for something that is not worth it,” said a Ghosh loyalist.