Section of BJP leaders blames party’s Bengal leadership for LS poll reverses | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Section of BJP leaders blames party’s Bengal leadership for LS poll reverses

Jun 06, 2024 01:21 PM IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered reverses in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal as its tally of seats dropped from 18 out of 42 in 2019 to 12

A section of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders has blamed the party’s state leadership for the reverses it suffered in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, where its tally of seats dropped from 18 out of 42 to 12.

BJP won 12 of 42 seats in Bengal. (PTI/Representative)
BJP won 12 of 42 seats in Bengal. (PTI/Representative)

Saumitra Khan, who won the Bishnupur Lok Sabha seat, accused some BJP leaders of having secret pacts with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). Khan asked how else one explain the result. “The secret understanding [between TMC and BJP leaders] was at the local level, district level, and the state level. Without this, such a result cannot be explained.”

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Former state chief Dilip Ghosh, Union minister Nisith Pramanik, Locket Chatterjee, Subhas Sarkar, and Debasree Chaudhuri were among the top BJP leaders who lost.

Ghosh said back-stabbing and conspiracy are a part of politics. “I did not get the desired result despite giving my best. Those who decided to field me from here [Bardhaman-Durgapur] would be able to say. Many workers were not on the field. The party has not been able to grow since 2021 [assembly polls]. Those are in charge need to ponder,” Ghosh said.

Gosh, who lost to TMC’s Kirti Azad by a margin of 137981 votes after shifting out of his Midnapore constituency, was the BJP chief when the party increased its Lok Sabha seat tally from two to 18 in 2019. He led the party when it bagged 77 of 294 seats in the 2021 assembly polls.

State BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar, who won the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat by a margin of just 10,386 votes, said they lost many seats unexpectedly. “I never thought Ghosh would lose. My entire family was disheartened. He was our leader and he lost to Azad.” He said he did not make all the decisions but would have to take responsibility as the state president. “Even though someone else took the decision, I will take the blame.”

People aware of the matter said the BJP’s central leadership relied on Suvendu Adhikari, who defected to the BJP from TMC in 2020, for decisions on West Bengal. “Union home minister Amit Shah even said that the more [chief minister] Mamata Banerjee harasses Adhikari, the higher position BJP would give him,” said a BJP leader on condition of anonymity.

Adhikari, who is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly and defeated Banerjee in the 2021 assembly polls in Nandigram, insisted all BJP leaders were on the ground and highly active. “There is no question of anyone’s morale being down. We know how to protect our workers and we are doing it.”

He said BJP’s seats may have gone down but the vote share has increased. “What credibility is left of the TMC? The chief minister lost in Nandigram in 2021 and alleged that she lost due to a power cut. This time they have lost from Nandigram assembly seat again,” said Adhikari.

TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee mocked the BJP leaders over the seat targets they have set for West Bengal. “With folded hands, I would request BJP’s central leaders to predict such results for West Bengal before every election. When you predicted that BJP would get 200 [assembly] seats [in 2021], TMC got 200 seats. You said you would get 30 [Lok Sabha] seats and TMC got 30 seats. The more such predictions you make, the higher the mandate TMC would get. I am grateful to the BJP leaders and congratulate them.”

On Tuesday, Mamata Banerjee attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said people have broken his morale. “Modi has broken many parties and now the people have broken his morale. Modi should resign on moral grounds. The Union home minister [Amit Shah] should also resign...You have lost credibility. We want you to resign.”

BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya called Mamata Banerjee’s comments laughable. “A woman who got 29 seats is saying that the person [Modi] who won 240 seats does not have credibility and his morale has been broken. This is laughable. Our workers, despite facing massive violence in 2021 and 2023, have put up a fight. Post-poll violence has erupted. Houses of BJP workers have been torched. It does not take much time for 29 seats to become 13.”

Burdwan University political science professor Rabindranath Bhattacharya said the BJP claimed it would win 200 seats and form the government in West Bengal. “It failed to win even 100 seats. Later when clashes erupted, BJP’s central leaders were nowhere to be seen. It [Lok Sabha poll performance in Bengal] is bound to take a toll on their morale. The TMC has been trying to brand the BJP as an outsider party which has little connection with the people.”

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