Updated June 6th, 2024 at 18:53 IST

Exclusive/ Dejected Dilip Ghosh Opens Up On Loss: 'Bengal BJP Leaders Conspired Against Me. Everything Is Over'

"No one was held accountable for the loss in 2021. If there is no course correction even now, the same thing will again be repeated in 2026," Dilip Ghosh warned

Reported by: Sayan Ganguly
BJP leader Dilip Ghosh | Image:PTI
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Kolkata: Responsible for BJP's mercurial rise in West Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, former state unit president and national vice-president Dilip Ghosh told Republic that infighting and rudderless leadership in the state was responsible for its poor show in Bengal this time around. Under Ghosh's leadership, BJP made headlines in 2019 by winning 18 out of 42 seats as against two seats in 2014.

Talking to Republic, a dejected Ghosh opened up on his heavy defeat at the hands of TMC's Kirti Azad in the Bardhaman-Durgapur seat. After his removal from the post of national vice-president in 2023, it was a prestige battle for Ghosh. Known for not mincing his words, Ghosh said that he was shifted from his stronghold in Medinipur to a new seat due to "conspiracy" to cut me to size. "What happened as a result? They lost both the seats," Ghosh told Republic.

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Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:

How do you look at Bengal Lok Sabha results?

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We have lost by a very high margin, from anywhere between two lakh to four lakh votes. Our state president (Sukanta Majumdar) and Saumitra Khan were about to lose but they managed to hold on to their constituencies barely. So, wherever we have been victorious in Bengal, we have won with thin margins while we have lost by huge margins.

There are always missteps taken by parties in power. Look at what happened in Uttar Pradesh. Same thing happened in West Bengal when it came to giving tickets. When you don't trust your leaders, why will people place their trust on you?

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How did your party lose so much of momentum in West Bengal after the 2019 Lok Sabha high?

Its a fact that we have lost momentum. You have to understand who all are taking decisions in the state unit since 2021.The ones who have not fought for the party when our backs were against the wall. Before the 2021 Bengal Assembly elections, I became like an invalid member in the party. I protested the move to remove Subrata Chatterjee from the BJP general secretary post. After removing him, candidates were selected whimsically for the Assembly elections. No one listened to me. The ones who have never been involved with the party are now taking decisions. I don't know what was their credibility before. Now, the party in Bengal is suffering. We have given our blood, sweat and tears to this party. Now, the outsiders have been put at the helm of affairs. What contribution do they have towards the party? Be it people or our party workers, no body actually believes them.

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Will the party introspect and take some tough decisions ahead of the 2026 Assembly elections?

There was no introspection done after BJP lost in the 2021 Assembly elections. No one was held accountable for the loss in 2021. If there is no course correction even now, the same thing will again be repeated in 2026.

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Didn't you protest that the party's decision to shift you from your bastion in Midnapore to Bardhaman-Durgapur?

No one had informed me about this from the party. Only after the names were declared, people from the Sangh reached out and asked me to accept the decision. I said I will not fight the elections and I will not be involved with the party any longer. I have already fought two elections and had fulfilled the organisation's ask to establish the party in Bengal. I told them that I am being moved from here to there and then I will be beaten up or abused or disrespected. I can't be treated like this.

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It Was An Internal Conspiracy To Remove Me From My Stronghold In Midnapore: 

Mangal Pandey (BJP incharge of Bengal) had called me and persuaded me to go and fight from there. I told him that I have invested all my money and resources in my home constituency. Bardhaman-Durgapur constituency is new for me, I further communicated to him. He just told me that you're a big leader. After that, he didn't even get in touch with me.

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This was not a miscalculation. This was a conspiracy. They thought by removing me, they will extend their influence in my area.  Unfortunately, the candidate (Agnimitra Paul) also lost. Everything is over.

 

 

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Published June 6th, 2024 at 18:53 IST