Kolkata: BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta’s suggestion on social media that his party should project a chief ministerial face before state polls as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah can’t be a substitute for local leadership doesn’t seem to have gone down well with his party.
Speaking to News18, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said Dasgupta should not have made his suggestions public. “He is a senior party leader and he can give suggestions for the betterment of the party. But I think such suggestions should not be made through public/social media platforms. Such issues are the party’s internal matter and should ideally be discussed in the party’s internal meetings,” Ghosh said.
The BJP chief also sought to play down Ghosh’s suggestions. “In the past, whether we won polls or lost, our party preferred not to project any chief ministerial face. In Bengal, we have assembly polls in 2021 and I think we will go over this issue before taking the final decision.”
On February 11, Dasgupta had tweeted: “3 obvious lessons for BJP after Delhi: 1) Ideological issues must be supplemented by a solid governance agenda 2) There has to be a vibrant local unit with mohalla presence, & not merely during polls 3) A chief ministerial face is a must. Modi-Shah can’t be a substitute.”
Dasgupta's remark came after BJP failed to perform well in the Delhi elections where it was reduced to a single digit while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 62 of 70 seats.
Reacting to Dasgupta’s remarks, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Colonel Diptanshu Chaudhary (retd) said, “Thank you Mr Swapan Dasgupta for realising the hard ground facts after being in power since 2014 and I’m sure this was not rocket science. A political party like BJP, which is ideologically driven, cannot be party of two individuals.”
He added, “BJP’s best practices’ potion contains last-stage amping-up of Hindutva and anti-Pakistan rhetoric, rolling out of Modi’s oratory, boxing the opposition as anti-nationals, carpet-bombing constituencies with heavy-weight MPs but it does not work every time. It has to be followed up by ‘roti, kapda, makan’ which must be visible on ground. So far as Bengal BJP is concerned, it’s daydreaming that people have opened doors for them.”
He added: “Peter Drucker must have had some inclination about Bengal BJP when he narrated his ‘Crab Theory’ in management techniques. In Bengal BJP, each leader spends most of their time in pulling down others or vilifying or ostracising them in public. They are yet to be seen as a serious political party to whom the future of Bengal’s next generation can be handed over.
“Third, people like Dilip Ghosh can’t be seen as leaders but court jesters who can earn cheers of karyakartas by quoting dialogues. The mandate doesn’t believe them vis-a-vis a strong leader like Mamata Banerjee.”