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Dilip Ghosh blames BJP's state unit over Bengal performance, prompts flak from within
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Dilip Ghosh

Dilip Ghosh blames BJP's state unit over Bengal performance, prompts flak from within

| @@indiablooms | 08 Jun 2024, 01:35 am

Kolkata/IBNS: The second successive setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal has exposed cracks within the state unit, with former state president Dilip Ghosh hitting out at the local leadership and pointing out flaws in the manner the campaign was carried out.

The BJP received a major setback in the 2024 general elections, bagging only 12 seats of the 42, which is down from 18 in 2019.

Dilip Ghosh, who was in charge when the saffron outfit shocked the Trinamool Congress by winning 18 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, made his first attack on the party's state unit on Thursday when he quoted former Prime Minister, and one of the party's most revered figures, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in a post on X.

"Keep one thing in mind: even one old Karyakarta of the party should not be neglected. If necessary, let ten new Karyakartas be separated. Because the old workers are the guarantee of our victory. Trusting new Karyakartas too quickly is not advisable - Atal Bihari Vajpayee," Mr Ghosh wrote.

On Friday again, without taking any names, he took a dig at Leader of State Assembly Suvendu Adhikari who was at the helm of the party's campaign in the state time, including choosing the candidates for the 42 seats.

Ghosh, who won the Medinipur constituency in 2019, was made to contest this time from Bardhaman-Durgapur seat, where he lost to the Trinamool's Kirti Azad by a margin of over 1.37 lakh votes.

Ghosh's replacement for the Medinipur constituency, Agnimitra Paul, was also defeated.

Speaking to a local TV news channel, Ghosh said: "For over a year, I have spent all my time and money in Medinipur. But I wasn't allowed to contest from there. I was suddenly fielded from Bardhaman-Durgapur seat with no time to prepare. The result in both seats (Medinipur and Bardhaman-Durgapur) is for all to see."

"Even Agnimitra Paul came to visit me and said what was the need for this switch, we were doing good in our respective constituencies," he said.

Implying that he had strengthened the party at a time when it did not have much of a standing in Bengal, Ghosh added, "This time, votes in Bengal were sought in the name of PM Narendra Modi, we have a stronger organisation, and so many leaders have joined the party. In 2021 (Bengal Assembly polls), we didn't have so many people and in 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) there was nobody, I went around campaigning and there were central leaders."

"This time, PM Modi went practically everywhere. We have so many MLAs and MPs now, why did the results turn out the way they did," he asked.

Ghosh also pointed to former Union minister Debasree Choudhury being asked to contest from the Kolkata Dakshin seat instead of Raiganj, which she had won in 2019.

This was seen by many as the BJP leader suggesting that the old guard in the party was being sidelined by new entrants like Suvendu Adhikari.

The just-concluded Lok Sabha election is the second time the BJP has fallen way short of its expectations since its astounding performance in 2019. During the 2021 Assembly polls, the party had set itself a target of winning 200 of the state's 294 constituencies but had ended up with only 77.

However, Aginmitra Paul denied the remarks. "I did meet Dilip Ghosh after candidates' names were announced to seek his blessings. But I don't remember saying this was a mistake to field us from the current seats. My candidature was chosen by central leadership and I am not Suvendu Adhikari's candidate. They must have taken the decision based on surveys and dates," she told a TV news channel.

Not just Ghosh, BJP too has been decimated by the TMC in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.

Across the state, it was Mamata Banerjee-led TMC's storm as it won 29 out of 42 seats defying all exit polls.

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