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BJP may pit Netaji kin against Didi on her home turf

West Bengal 2016 Updated: Mar 08, 2016 13:00 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya
Ravik Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

An archival image of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. (HT File Photo)


Subhas Chandra Bose’s legacy may become a matter of political tug-of-war in the assembly elections in Bhawanipore as BJP is getting ready to nominate Netaji’s grandnephew Chandra Bose against chief minister Mamata Banerjee in this constituency.

Bose’s ancestral house on Elgin Road comes under Bhawanipore constituency.

Bose, 65, a London educated HR and IT professional now lives in South Kolkata. He joined BJP on January 25 at the rally of party president Amit Shah in Howrah. Chandra Bose is the most prominent of the part of the Bose family who believe that Netaji did not die in the 1945 aircrash at Taihoku.

Ironically, Mamata Banerjee has also commented in public more than once that she, too, did not believe that the leader perished in the aircrash, and her party Lok Sabha MP Sugata Bose (who is a historian of repute) and his mother Krishna Bose (former MP), both have written and spoken in favour of the aircrash theory.

Bose joined BJP two days after the Narendra Modi government reversed 70 years of the Centre’s policy by initiating declassification of secret files on Subhas Chandra Bose.

“I have nothing to comment. I will serve in any role the party deems fit for me,” Bose told HT on Monday morning.

However, BJP sources in Delhi confirmed that talks are on between Bose and party’s top leadership.

“Bose was among the people who fought for declassification of files relating to Netaji. He and other family members appealed to Narendra Modi who ordered declassification. Bose is one of the suitable candidates for Bhawanipore constituency against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. A final decision in this regard will be shortly taken,” said a senior BJP leader.

BJP leaders told HT Bose is the best candidate to take on Trinamool Congress chief from Bhawanipore constituency. Bose’s clean image, education and oratorical skills, apart from the fact that he belongs to Netaji’s family will help him fight against Mamata Banerjee.

During the Lok Sabha polls, BJP led in Bhawanipore Assembly segment (under South Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency) over the Trinamool candidate with 185 votes. Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Bakshi won the MP seat.

Trinamool Congress earlier gave tickets for different constituencies to Krishna Bose and his son Sugata Bose who became Lok Sabha MPs.

However, BJP is optimistic of giving a fight to Mamata Banerjee in the constituency which has non-Bengali speaking voters in good numbers.

The campaign will be full of ironies as Chandra Bose interacted and appealed with the chief minister Mamata Banerjee leading to the declassification of secret files of Netaji (with government of West Bengal) on September 18, 2015.

Grandson of Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose, Chandra Bose was a student of La Martiniere School in Kolkata. He later studied economics in Hendon College, London.

He worked for Tata Steel from 1982 to 2000. He left the job in 2000 to float his own outfit Bose Information Technology private limited, a HR and IT consultancy firm.

Since 2012 he is the convener of ‘Open Platform For Netaji’ that was in the forefront of declassification battle with the centre. Chandra Bose is also the general secretary of a human rights organization, ‘Socialist Democratic Forum,”.