Kolkata: Two days after the defection of former union minister of Modi cabinet and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo, Bharatiya Janata Party sacked its Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh.
Earlier Babul Supriyo, senior lawmaker Mukul Roy and three other legislators from the saffron camp deserted the party since the Bengal assembly verdict was declared in May.
TMC led by Mamata Banerjee won more than two hundred seats, giving its best performance ever to stop the ambitious plan of BJP coming to power in Bengal. The saffron camp despite its mighty campaigning with star speakers managed to secure only 77 seats of the 292 assembly seats. Elections on two seats did not take place, because of the sudden demise of its candidates.
Now, BJP has reduced its number of MLAs in the state is 71. Two of its MLAs resigned as they were members of Parliament too. And it is not only MP and MLAs but hundreds of party caders and district units of the BJP that have joined the ruling TMC or merged itself.
Since the results were announced, it was expected that Ghosh would be made a scapegoat and sacked state president position, for the drubbing, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had conducted several rallies and used all the resources of the party.
But it seems the party was waiting for a better situation for Ghosh to be martyred. Today Ghosh got replaced by Balurghat BJP MP Dr Sukanta Majumdar. The party is trying to pacify him by naming him the national vice-president of the party.
According to BJP sources, the party made the sudden change in an attempt to show that the saffron camp is serious about North Bengal.
“There is a constant exodus from the BJP to the TMC and most of the defectors have complained against Dilip Ghosh and held him responsible for the defection for which he was replaced,” said the BJP sources.
But exodus to continue in BJP
According to BJP sources, two more BJP MPs following the poll debacle are likely to switch to the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Not just MP, several MLAs are also in talks to switch camps. Raigunj MLA Krishna Kalyani had already hinted towards the defection.
“Kharagpur MLA Hiranmoy Chattopadhyay and Darjeeling MLA Neeraj Zimba had expressed their grief against Dilip Ghosh. Apart from MP SS Ahluwalia and Khagen Murmu at least 15 MLAs are in touch with the TMC camp,” said the sources.
Earlier Krishnanagar MLA Mukul Roy, Bishnupur MLA Tanmay Ghosh, Bagda MLA Biswajit Das and North Bengal’s Kaliyagunj BJP MLA Soumen Roy had already defected back to the TMC making the total number of BJP MLAs to 71 and also with Babul’s joining TMC made the BJP MPs count come down to 17.
According to poll analyst Mainak Pututundu, the BJP by replacing Ghosh is trying to give an ‘image makeover’ to the party.
“The BJP is trying to bring a new face; also the saffron camp is trying to give importance to North Bengal,” said Mainak.
Meanwhile, Dilip Ghosh giving his reaction to the party’s decision said, “I have given my best and the change was needed. The BJP has grown and become strong in West Bengal. Now, I will do whatever the party central leadership instructs me to do.”