Kolkata, September 21, 2021: The day when BJP MP from Asansol and former Union Minister Babul Supriyo met TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the saffron party replaced Dilip Ghosh as its West Bengal unit president with Lok Sabha MP from Balurghat Sukanta Majumdar amid infighting and a string of defections from the party to the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress. Supriyo has joined TMC a few days ago in presence of Abhishek Banerjee and Derek O’Brien in Kolkata.
Sukanta Majumdar is new Bengal BJP president
In a statement, the BJP announced that Ghosh, also a Lower House MP, has been made a national vice president of the saffron camp. The change of guard happened 15 months ahead of the expiry of Ghosh’s term as state BJP chief.
According to party sources, Majumdar’s name for the Bengal BJP president’s post had been doing the rounds for the past few months, following the party’s defeat in March-April Assembly polls.
A PhD in botany, 41-year-old Majumdar, known to be sharing close ties with Ghosh, is the first state president of the saffron camp from north Bengal.
“I thank my party leadership for giving me this opportunity. The party has grown from strength to strength in the last few years. I would aim to fortify its base even further,” he told reporters.
Asked about his plans to deal with the defections and infighting, Majumdar, who has strong links with RSS, said those committed to the BJP ideology would never leave the party.
North Bengal in focus
Four BJP MLAs and an MP have switched over to the TMC since the declaration of assembly election results on May 2.
The sources in the BJP said that the top brass decided to appoint Majumdar as the state president keeping in view the party’s good show in north Bengal.
With Leader of the Opposition in Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, hailing from south Bengal and Majumdar from north, the saffron camp seems to be making efforts to reinvigorate the organisation in the state after the Assembly poll debacle.
Dilip Ghosh congratulates Sukanta Majumdar
Congratulating Majumdar over his new appointment, Ghosh said that the state unit needs fresh blood to take the organisation ahead in West Bengal.
He also thanked the central leadership for the new role.
“I was informed this morning that I will be given a new assignment at the national level. I am thankful to the central leadership for giving me an opportunity to serve the masses. I wish Sukanta Majumdar success on his new journey,” the 57-year-old BJP leader said.
Ghosh, who took over the party’s reins in December 2015, was re-elected unopposed to the post of state BJP chief in January 2020. Under his leadership, the BJP, for the first time in 2016, won three seats in the Assembly.
The party had also registered a spectacular performance in 2019 when it bagged 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
In 2021, however, the party failed to achieve its much-hyped target of 200 seats in the assembly, but managed to increase its tally from three to 77.
Ghosh, over the past few years, courted several controversies with his remarks.
He has also been subjected to criticisms by his detractors in the party.
Reacting to the development, TMC MP Sougata Roy said that the change was on the cards.
“Dilip Ghosh was a hardworking person but he had no control over his tongue. The BJP can change its state president but that won’t be on any help to the party. The BJP is a sinking ship in Bengal,” Roy added.