Avijit Ghosal

Avijit Ghosal

Avijit Ghosal writes on economy, industry and politics from West Bengal. Has been doing so for more than 20 years.

Articles by Avijit Ghosal
Prominent TMC leaders including Saugata Roy are seen taking money in the Narada sting videos.(PTI Photo/File/Representative)
Prominent TMC leaders including Saugata Roy are seen taking money in the Narada sting videos.(PTI Photo/File/Representative)

Narada after Saradha, most tension-filled Durga Puja for Trinamool leaders this year

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2019 06:01 PM IST
It won’t be surprising if several TMC leaders pray for divine intervention after the arrest of an IPS officer in Narada sting case that claims to have taped several prominent politicians accepting wads of cash from a man posing as a representative of a firm.
The stakes are high for Mamata Banerjee and with each passing day Rajeev Kumar remaining ‘underground’ is adding to the ruling party’s burden.(HT image)
The stakes are high for Mamata Banerjee and with each passing day Rajeev Kumar remaining ‘underground’ is adding to the ruling party’s burden.(HT image)

The political cost of Rajeev Kumar’s disappearance | Opinion

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2019 05:00 PM IST
Most political watchers believe that Trinamool Congress chief will pay the price for the disappearance of Kumar who has virtually vanished since the Calcutta high court lifted his protection from arrest on September 13.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has pointed out that Bengali Hindus constituted the largest group among the final list of 1.9 million left out of Assam NRC.(HT File Photo)
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has pointed out that Bengali Hindus constituted the largest group among the final list of 1.9 million left out of Assam NRC.(HT File Photo)

Whispers of ‘Bengal for Bengalis’, but can it impact state polls | Opinion

Hindustan Times, | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2019 12:52 PM IST
Trinamool Congress is in a precarious position. The forces of anti-incumbency that it has generated mainly by corruption and high-handedness of its leaders and denial of democratic rights of a large section of the electorate in the 2018 panchayat elections have cost it dear in the general elections.
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.(AP photo)
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.(AP photo)

Opinion | While Mamata was busy with her party’s grip on Durga puja, the saffron camp made inroads with Ram Navami, Janmashtami and Hanuman Jayanti

Hindustan Times | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2019 04:05 PM IST
The BJP has not only gained ground in West Bengal – a state where it always remained in the fringes – but also achieved a degree of penetration and polarisation that has encouraged them to claim they will win the assembly elections in 2021 or even if they are held earlier.
Mamata Banerjee sitting on dharna with Mayor Firhad Hakim.(HT file photo)
Mamata Banerjee sitting on dharna with Mayor Firhad Hakim.(HT file photo)

Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim is emerging as Mamata Banerjee’s man Friday | Analysis

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON AUG 25, 2019 01:49 PM IST
In November 2018, Mamata Banerjee nominated Hakim to contest for the mayor’s chair. Hakim went on to become the first Muslim mayor of Kolkata since Independence.
Election strategist Prashant Kishor Kishor helped Narendra Modi and the BJP strike gold in 2012 Gujarat elections and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Nitish Kumar-Lalu Yadav’s mahagathbandhan in 2015, captain Amarinder Singh in 2017 and Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2019.(PTI File Photo)
Election strategist Prashant Kishor Kishor helped Narendra Modi and the BJP strike gold in 2012 Gujarat elections and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Nitish Kumar-Lalu Yadav’s mahagathbandhan in 2015, captain Amarinder Singh in 2017 and Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2019.(PTI File Photo)

Is Prashant Kishor facing his toughest challenge in Bengal? | Opinion

Hinustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON AUG 21, 2019 03:08 PM IST
As Bengal’s ruling party is passing through the opening sequences of the ‘Didike Bolo’ and ‘Gramey Cholo’ campaigns to reestablish contact with the masses, this anecdote reflects the challenges Prashant Kishor, the poll strategist roped in to embellish Mamata Banerjee’s image and make her battle-ready before the 2021 Assembly elections, is facing.
Kolkata, India - July 29, 2019: Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee addresses the media before her meeting with MLAs and 1000 TMC leaders at Nazrul Mancha, in Kolkata, West Bengal(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Kolkata, India - July 29, 2019: Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee addresses the media before her meeting with MLAs and 1000 TMC leaders at Nazrul Mancha, in Kolkata, West Bengal(Samir Jana/HT Photo)

Why Mamata Banerjee needs an image makeover | Opinion

Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON AUG 04, 2019 06:19 PM IST
It’s the biggest public relation exercise since Mamata Banerjee swept the 34-year-old and seemingly invincible Left Front regime out of power in Bengal in May 2011.
A saffron-smeared road can be seen in Kolkata as BJP supporters celebrate on Thursday.(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)
A saffron-smeared road can be seen in Kolkata as BJP supporters celebrate on Thursday.(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

2019 performance could boost BJP’s assembly prospects in Bengal

Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2019 08:16 AM IST
Mamata Banerjee’s party swept the subsequent assembly elections in 2011, winning 184 seats in the 294-member assembly and drawing curtains on the 34-year rule of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
News agency PTI quoted TMC sources to stress that the two leaders “decided to hold detailed discussion” with other opposition leaders after the Lok Sabha poll results are declared on May 23.
News agency PTI quoted TMC sources to stress that the two leaders “decided to hold detailed discussion” with other opposition leaders after the Lok Sabha poll results are declared on May 23.

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Undaunted by exit polls, Naidu meets Mamata in Kolkata with his plan

Hindustan Times, Kolkata/Amaravati | By Avijit Ghosal & Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
UPDATED ON MAY 20, 2019 07:58 PM IST
N Chandrababu Naidu has already met Congress president Rahul Gandhi twice, once with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, as well as other leaders including Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, BSP’s Mayawati and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
Eight West Bengal seats are going to polls in phase 4 of Lok Sabha elections 2019.(ANI file photo)
Eight West Bengal seats are going to polls in phase 4 of Lok Sabha elections 2019.(ANI file photo)

Lok Sabha elections 2019: With phase 4, elections move to Trinamool stronghold south Bengal

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON APR 28, 2019 10:18 PM IST
So far the 10 constituencies where the people have voted in the first three phases were located mainly in north Bengal, where the emerging force of Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to do better than in the southern parts of the state.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses an election rally in Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to polls on April 23 with four other seats.(ANI file photo)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses an election rally in Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to polls on April 23 with four other seats.(ANI file photo)

Lok Sabha elections 2019: High-stakes battle in Bengal in third phase polling

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2019 07:17 PM IST
In phase 3, Bengal’s ruling party has to overcome history. Trinamool has never won any Lok Sabha seat in Malda and Murshidabad districts, traditionally known as the Congress belt.
Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata Banerjee's nephew and Trinamool Congress’s candidate from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency(File photo)
Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata Banerjee's nephew and Trinamool Congress’s candidate from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency(File photo)

Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata Banerjee’s heir apparent, needs to be battle ready

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2019 12:57 PM IST
A fluent speaker, Abhishek Banerjee has imbibed her aunt’s aggression and confidence but as he made his political debut when Mamata Banerjee was in power, he lacks the baptism by fire like his aunt, who survived decades of Left aggression in West Bengal.
To counter Modi, Mamata Banerjee has tweaked her schedule and brought forward her rally at Dinhata by a day.(PTI File)
To counter Modi, Mamata Banerjee has tweaked her schedule and brought forward her rally at Dinhata by a day.(PTI File)

Battle of Bengal set to heat up with PM Modi’s twin rallies today

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON APR 03, 2019 01:23 PM IST
Over the past two Lok Sabha and two assembly elections in Bengal, the vote share of the BJP has remained at a level that is way behind that of the ruling TMC.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi to address a public rally in Bengal on Saturday.(ANI)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi to address a public rally in Bengal on Saturday.(ANI)

Rahul Gandhi to launch Congress campaign in Bengal today, his first rally since 2016

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON MAR 23, 2019 09:21 AM IST
Congress president Rahul Gandhi to address a rally in West Bengal on Saturday to launch party’s campaign in the state. This is his first rally in Bengal since April 2016.
Trinamool Congress Supreme and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has listed party candidates for the Lok Sabha election 2019 on the meeting with the senior Trinamool Congress Leaders in Kolkata on Tuesday.(ANI file photo)
Trinamool Congress Supreme and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has listed party candidates for the Lok Sabha election 2019 on the meeting with the senior Trinamool Congress Leaders in Kolkata on Tuesday.(ANI file photo)

Trinamool Congress declares 40% reservation for women candidates

Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Kolkata | By Saubhadra Chatterji and Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON MAR 12, 2019 11:24 PM IST
Facing a tough triangular fight against BJP and the Left-Congress combine, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has made sweeping changes to her Trinamool Congress’s candidates lineup in the upcoming general elections.
Mamata Banerjee plunged into politics in the 1970s when she was a student.(PTI file photo)
Mamata Banerjee plunged into politics in the 1970s when she was a student.(PTI file photo)

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Mamata Banerjee, fighter to the core who banks on planning

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2019 03:47 PM IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is one of the principal proponents of a front of regional parties that are opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party and organised the first unity show in Kolkata on January 19, which she announced as far back as July 21, 2018.
It seemed that Mamata Banerjee picked up from where she left during the rally on January 19 when almost two dozen leaders of parties opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party gathered at her unity show in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)
It seemed that Mamata Banerjee picked up from where she left during the rally on January 19 when almost two dozen leaders of parties opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party gathered at her unity show in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

Mamata Banerjee lands in Delhi on mission to turn a threat into opportunity

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2019 11:06 PM IST
It was a difficult process that Mamata Banerjee launched on the evening of February 3, a couple of hours after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team went to the official residence of Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar.
Mamata Banerjee has been holding a protest at Esplanade in Kolkata against the CBI for the last three days.(Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times)
Mamata Banerjee has been holding a protest at Esplanade in Kolkata against the CBI for the last three days.(Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times)

‘Country not run by guns and gaurakshaks’: Mamata on Supreme Court order

Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2019 01:51 PM IST
Mamata Banerjee said the court order was a victory of democracy. “We are not against officers of any investigative agency. They are also our brothers and sisters. But they should not be used politically.”
Bureaucrats recall that Rajeev Kumar was initially disliked by Mamata Banerjee, possibly on the suspicion that the cop, a favourite of her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of the CPI(M), tapped telephones on behalf of the Left regime.(AP)
Bureaucrats recall that Rajeev Kumar was initially disliked by Mamata Banerjee, possibly on the suspicion that the cop, a favourite of her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of the CPI(M), tapped telephones on behalf of the Left regime.(AP)

Why Rajeev Kumar features in the Saradha scam

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Avijit Ghosal
PUBLISHED ON FEB 04, 2019 11:35 PM IST
It was as the commissioner of Bidhannagar police and the SIT chief probing the Saradha scam that involved deposits of Rs 2,460 crore (as later quantified by the Enforcement Directorate) that Rajeev Kumar has come under the CBI’s scanner.
Police coimmissioner Rajeev Kumar(extreme left) with Chief Mnister Mamata Banerjee at dharna in front of Metro station at Esplanade on Sunday night.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)
Police coimmissioner Rajeev Kumar(extreme left) with Chief Mnister Mamata Banerjee at dharna in front of Metro station at Esplanade on Sunday night.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

Mamata Banerjee says PM Modi, Amit Shah forced CBI to act against her

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal and Tanmay Chatterjee
UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2019 01:32 AM IST
In her midnight speech, Mamata Banerjee warned that the BJP may plan President’s rule in West Bengal.
Kolakata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar(extreme left) with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sitting on a dharna in front of Metro station at Esplanade in Kolkata on February 3.(HT Photo/Samir Jana)
Kolakata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar(extreme left) with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sitting on a dharna in front of Metro station at Esplanade in Kolkata on February 3.(HT Photo/Samir Jana)

Mamata Banerjee begins dharna, says PM Modi, Amit Shah plotting coup in Bengal

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2019 12:54 AM IST
Mamata Banerjee accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of plotting a ‘coup’ in Bengal.

Highlights| ‘Didi, why fear if you haven’t done anything wrong’, says PM Modi in Bengal’s Durgapur rally

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON FEB 02, 2019 04:48 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned in West Bengal on Saturday for the coming Lok Sabha election with rallies in the border district of North 24 Parganas and the industrial town of Durgapur.The Durgapur rally of the prime minister will be part of BJP’s ‘Ganatantra Bachao’ (save democracry) programme in the state.The rallies are being held at a time when the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has upped the ante against the BJP-headed government at the Centre and has given the call to oust the Modi government in the next General Election.West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said apart from Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and many other top leaders will attend several ‘Ganatantra Bachao’ rallies across the state.Follow highlights here:

Modi to address concerns over NRC, Citizenship bill, infiltration from Bengal rally.(AP)
Modi to address concerns over NRC, Citizenship bill, infiltration from Bengal rally.(AP)

PM Narendra Modi to address concerns over NRC, Citizenship bill, infiltration in Bengal rally

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal and Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON FEB 02, 2019 07:57 AM IST
The corruption issue still remains the soft spot.

Amit Shah in West Bengal highlights: ‘Mamata di, you can’t remove Modi by gathering 23-25 leaders’ says BJP chief in Malda rally

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2019 03:52 PM IST

BJP president Amit Shah today kicked off the party’s campaign in West Bengal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with a rally in Malda. The event comes days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee hosted a mega opposition gathering in Kolkata.The rallies came after the Mamata Banerjee government refused permission for BJP’s “rath yatra”, citing law and order concerns. The party had contested the denial of permission in the courts and fought it up to the Supreme Court, but failed to get any relief. The apex court had, however, allowed the BJP to hold public meetings.  Bengal is crucial in the BJP’s plan for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the party has set itself a target of 22 seats in the state. The party which currently holds two seats in the state, has been bolstered with a number of senior Trinamool Congress leaders joining it.Shah’s rally in Malda, where he will address party workers in north Bengal, comes a day after a row between the BJP and the state government over a landing spot for his helicopter.:

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee delivering her speech at United India Rally in Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on January 19, 2019. (HT Photo/Samir Jana)(HT Photo)
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee delivering her speech at United India Rally in Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on January 19, 2019. (HT Photo/Samir Jana)(HT Photo)

Mamata uses rhetoric, hyperbole to underscore Opposition unity, attack Modi regime

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2019 07:10 PM IST
Clad in her customary white sari and chappals, the Trinamool Congress chief was the 23rd and the last speaker at the rally, and lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Modi in her own style .
Mamata Banerjee is a phenomenon in West Bengal politics. Her party, Trinamool Congress, born only 21 years and 18 days ago, has achieved two landmarks already.(AP)
Mamata Banerjee is a phenomenon in West Bengal politics. Her party, Trinamool Congress, born only 21 years and 18 days ago, has achieved two landmarks already.(AP)

Opposition unity rally today is Mamata Banerjee’s crowning glory

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2019 10:59 AM IST
On Saturday, the Trinamool Congress chief is going to have a third feather in her cap. On the dais of the United India Rally that she has convened in Kolkata, as many as two dozen leaders of anti-Bharatiya Janata Party outfits will be present.

HIGHLIGHTS | Mamata Banerjee ends Opposition unity rally with chants of Vande Mataram

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Avijit Ghosal
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2019 07:59 PM IST

TMC’s mega rally is underway at the historic Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata, that would virtually kick-start the opposition’s campaign ahead of the coming general election. Convened by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who is aiming to project herself as the face of the opposition, the rally at noon is being attended by the who’s who of Indian politics -- a former prime minister, several current and former chief ministers and stalwarts from various political outfits from across the country.Also Read | ‘Country waiting for new prime minister’: Akhilesh Yadav before mega Opposition rally in KolkataMore than 20 national leaders, including former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Arun Shourie; three present chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and H D Kumaraswamy; and former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Akhilesh Yadav and Gegong Apang attended the meeting.Also Watch |  If speaking truth is rebellion then I am a rebel, says Shatrughan SinhaWhile Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi have given the rally a miss, they have deputed senior party functionary and leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.Here are the HIGHLIGHTS:

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress kept up its spree of winning by-elections at all levels with over 50% of the votes, winning the Kolkata Municipal Corporation bypoll with 77% of the votes (File Photo)(HT PHOTO)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress kept up its spree of winning by-elections at all levels with over 50% of the votes, winning the Kolkata Municipal Corporation bypoll with 77% of the votes (File Photo)(HT PHOTO)

TMC on spree of bypoll victories with over 50% votes; Kolkata mayor gets 77% in KMC by-election

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By Avijit Ghosal and Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
UPDATED ON JAN 09, 2019 07:32 PM IST
The ruling party won the bypolls at Lok Sabha, Assembly and Kolkata Municipal Corporation with more than 50% votes, which means the candidate could have won against a combined opposition.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik announced welfare schemes for the farmers of their respective state’s against the backdrop of this year’s Lok Sabha elections.(PTI Photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik announced welfare schemes for the farmers of their respective state’s against the backdrop of this year’s Lok Sabha elections.(PTI Photo)

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik announce farm sops

Hindustan Times, Kolkata / Bhubaneshwar | By Avijit Ghosal and Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON DEC 31, 2018 10:50 PM IST
Under the initiative, the Farmers will get Rs10,000 a year for purchasing seeds, fertilizer and insecticides, life and accident insurance for a small premium and an interest-free crop loan of Rs 50,000, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief announced.
If the BJP’s yatra is eventually scuttled, or curtailed, Mamata Banerjee has a lot to gain(Samir Jana/Hindustan Times)
If the BJP’s yatra is eventually scuttled, or curtailed, Mamata Banerjee has a lot to gain(Samir Jana/Hindustan Times)

Mamata Banerjee on her way to throttle BJP’s West Bengal strategy

UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2018 12:39 AM IST
The momentum that the saffron camp built around the proposed yatra appears to be fizzling out
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