In what seemed to be a word of advice for BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh, the TMC on Thursday said he should oppose the attempt by the saffron party leadership to "shunt him out of Bengal" by assigning him responsibilities in other states. Ghosh, whose tenure as Bengal BJP president has by far garnered maximum gains for the saffron camp, has been recently asked to look after organizational matters in other states by the top brass.
The BJP leader asserted that he would continue to play a vital role in the Bengal unit, despite his responsibilities in other states, but the TMC termed it as an "attempt to clip his wings". "Dilip Ghosh is a dear friend. I feel bad for him. The injustice meted out to him is unfair. I feel he should protest against this injustice. We want him to stay in Bengal," senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said.
Echoing him, TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the BJP leader should oppose the ploy to sideline him by a section of party leaders. "It is unfortunate to see the way he is being treated by others in the party. Dilip Ghosh should oppose it; he has our full support," the TMC leader said.
The development came days after BJP MP and state vice-president Arjun Singh rejoined the ruling TMC, calling it his “homecoming". However, Ghosh denied attaching much importance to the statements by the TMC leaders and said the decision to assign responsibilities of other states to him or for that matter any other leader is very much part of BJP's usual style of functioning.
"It isn't an exceptional decision. Leaders and national office bearers are often assigned responsibilities in other states. This doesn't mean I can't look after organisational matters in West Bengal. I don't attach much importance to what others say," he said. State BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said a "regional party like TMC can never understand the functioning of a national party".
"Those who don't understand the functioning of a national party and have never been part of any pan-India party make such naive comments," he said. The state BJP unit had been fighting hard to keep its flock together after former union minister Babul Supriyo and five legislators, including its national vice-president Mukul Roy, switched over to the TMC, following last year's Assembly polls.