Chandra Bose, a grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, joined the BJP on Monday in the presence of party president Amit Shah in a public rally at Howrah.
Bose took the party’s flag from Shah on the podium at Dumurjola Stadium and spoke to reporters about the key reason behind join the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The BJP took the initiative to declassify all the files lying with the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also assured that he will make his best efforts to request the governments of a few countries such as Russia and Japan to access the files relating to Bose lying with them,” Bose said.
“It is too premature to engage in these discussions,” he said when asked about his own candidature in the assembly elections.
The BJP always had a marginal political presence in the state with its vote share hovering around 5-6% until the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when its vote share jumped to nearly 17% thanks to the Modi wave in the country.
According to BJP leaders, it is likely that he will also be given a ticket to contest the assembly polls in West Bengal that are due this summer. Bose will be a prominent face in the party’s election campaign in the state that has millions of Netaji fans who believe that Netaji did not die in crash at Taihoku.
BJP leaders indicated to HT that the party may highlight Bose’s induction and the declassification of Netaji files which are with the Centre in the run-up to the assembly polls in West Bengal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the digital copies of 100 files related to Netaji on his birth anniversary on Saturday.
Bose is the most vocal of a bigger section of Netaji’s family members who oppose the theory that he died in the air crash in Taipei’s Taihoku in August 1945. Bose’s cousin and Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Sugato Bose, who is also a professor of history at Harvard University, and his mother Krishna Bose, a former Lok Sabha MP from Trinamool, think that Netaji was killed in the crash.
Bose met Modi more than once in the past few months to press for the full declassification of the Netaji files spoke highly of the PM’s efforts to do the same. Bose also demanded in public that Modi should speak to leaders in a few countries such as Japan, Russia and the UK to gain access to files on Netaji for a final solution to the mysterious disappearance of the leader.
He will be campaigning against chief minister Mamata Banerjee who also believes that Netaji did not die in the crash, and put pressure on Modi to make the files public.
When asked whether he will be comfortable campaigning against someone who was the first to start declassification of the Netaji files - Banerjee revealed the contents of all 64 files with the Bengal government on September 18, 2015 - Bose said, “There is nothing personal in election campaigns.”
He also made it clear that Trinamool Congress leaders did not offer him a place in the party.
Bose, who used to work for Tata Steel, lives in south Kolkata with his wife.