Administration’s fear led to reverse exodus in Bengal: Dilip Ghosh (IANS Interview)

By Shashi BhushanNew Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Going by the results of the Assembly elections held in West Bengal earlier this year, it can be safely said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as the principle opposition party in the eastern state.In a conversation with IANS, BJP’s Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh shared his strategy to strengthen the party’s base in the state, besides commenting on some party members returning to the Trinamool Congress fold ‘out of fear’, among other issues.Excerpts from the interview:Q: The Assembly poll results did not go as per your expectations. How do you see BJP’s role and its future in the state?A: Everyone in the party worked hard and it is true that the results did not match our expectations. Our cadre on the ground worked hard under the guidance of the Central leadership and became the main opposition party in the state.For the last six-seven years, we worked in a particular way to make inroads in West Bengal. People have now accepted us as the main and only opposition party in West Bengal to fight against the misrule of the Mamata Banerjee-led state government. Now as our role has changed, we are planning our strategy accordingly to fulfil the people’s aspirations and expectations.Q: What are your future plans in the new role as the main opposition party in Bengal?A: Our strategy will be based on the new role entrusted on us by the people and the BJP will continue to raise their voices. We are working on our plan and it will be finalised in some time after reviewing the Assembly poll results.Q: What will be the core areas of this review process? A: We are reviewing all the reasons behind the results. We are reviewing the role of individuals, reasons for the defeat, role of the organisation as well as the contribution of the new leaders who joined us in the run up to the Assembly polls. Based on the review, we will draw our new plan for the future and also make changes in the organisation. The changes will be visible in the coming months.Q: Would you explain the changes in the organisation?A: We are making changes from top to bottom in the state unit. The process has started on the ground and it will be completed soon at the top level. The old cadres will be given prominence in the organisational responsibilities while the deserving new comers will be adjusted accordingly.Q: There is speculation about changes at the top like replacing state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya as well as you. Is there any truth in it?A: Kailash bhaisaab worked in West Bengal for the last six to seven years with a target to win the Assembly election. Like we are going for change at the state level, the Central leadership may be thinking about it. The state unit has no role in his replacement and I can not say anything about it. Only the Central leadership can take a decision about his replacement. The decision to replace me will also be taken by the Central leadership. I will follow whatever decision they take. Some people are trying to replace me and there is nothing wrong in that, this is politics.Q: A lot of questions are being raised on giving prominence to the newcomers in the party. Your thoughts on this? A: It’s natural… People take time to adjust. Some people who failed to adjust have gone back. It is a process and part of the democratic process. Everything will be settled after some time. We will take a decision on the future role of the newcomers along with that of the old ones.Q: Have you talked to those who are planning to go return to their old party?A: We welcomed everyone. We made an appeal to strengthen the party to fight against Mamata Banerjee. We organised a ‘yogdaan mela’ and many people joined us to dislodge the Trinamool government. We did not ask anyone to go back.They came with their issues and on their own terms. Now, those unable to fit with the culture and working style of the BJP are attempting to go back to their old party. They are unable to adjust here.Q: Is the fear of the state administration the main reason behind reverse exodus?A: Fear is one of the reasons. They came from different political cultures and they are unable to adjust with the functioning of the BJP, which is completely different from what they had practised till joining us. Some of them are disheartened after being unable to win the election. Those unable to adjust are trying to go back.Q: After Mukul Roy, more BJP MLAs are likely to join the Trinamool?Ghosh: ‘Jinko Jana tha chale gaye’ (those who had to go have already left). Right now no one is leaving us.Q: Recently you made BJP chief J.P. Nadda. What was the agenda of the meeting?A: I explained to Nadda ji the matters related to the party in West Bengal. I conveyed to him the sentiments of the party cadre in the state. Most of the matters like indiscipline and differences are in knowledge of the Central leadership. Now the Central leadership has to take a call.–IANSssb/arm

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