New Delhi, Apr 29 (GCCurrentAffairs) Most of the faceless BJP workers and district level and rural leaders have high appreciation for Dilip Ghosh these days with the refrain being the saffron party could have benefited earlier too with him in the citadel of power as state unit chief.
A former RSS in-charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and a successful organiser, Ghosh calls himself ‘ekti chasar chheley’ (a farmer’s son)’.
To his party workers, he is highly acclaimed for his candid approach to politics and for calling spade a spade notwithstanding the brickbats from detractors.
“He is a befitting answer to Trinamool Congress goondaism,” says Durgapur-based BJP Intellectual cell chief Amitava Banerjee.
Mr Ghosh is hardly apologetic about his frank outburst. “I speak what I feel and perhaps that is the answer and the language Trinamool Congress understands it well”.
In the past from time to time, Ghosh has courted controversies for remarks like – Our party workers ‘trained’ by RSS can break shoulders of Trinamool workers with bare hands.
Mr Ghosh was again in the midst of severe criticism when he mocked at two actresses-turned Trinamool candidates for Lok Sabha polls Mimi Chakroborty and Nusrat Jahan.
Recently he took on the CPI-M-led Left parties also. After one senior communist leader commented that the Modi government has forced ‘hardships’ on people, Mr Ghosh countered it in his characteristic style.
“Those people who have been forced to pay up tax under GST will be definitely unhappy. Those who lost cash during demonetisation, those who lost power they will be certainly unhappy. If Narendra Modi comes back, these will be more and eitai vidhir likhon (This is destiny’s truth),” he said tongue-in-cheek manner.
Three phases of polls are over and some key south Bengal seats are going to the polls on Monday.
For obvious reasons, now, all eyes are on the outcome of the voting for 42 crucial seats in West Bengal on May 23.
Again – he has able to take the battle into the enemy camp leaving Trinamool leaders akin to tigers and tigresses leaking their wounds.
For his part, BJP state unit chief and candidate from Medinipur says – “Mamata Banerjee will not be able to digest it, but of the ten seats in first three phases, the Trinamool will draw a blank. We are winning at least seven to eight seats”.
All BJP leaders may not share his optimism.
But there is no denial that Ghosh’s mannerism and way of speaking have often kept the spirit of the party Karyakartas – often battered and at the receiving end of violence – high.
A key party leader in Purulia says, “Importantly in intra-political matters within the party, he is trusted by BJP chief Amit Shah and key central leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya”.
In fact, a committed RSS foot soldier from the age of 20 – rare among Bengalis of his era – Ghosh was appointed as state BJP president in December 2015 – months before 2016 state Assembly elections. His appointment was hailed as the coming of a ‘tiger’.
A skilled hand in ‘organising things’, he had won 2016 Assembly polls defeating Congress leader Gyan Singh Sohanpal.
Durgapur BJP leader Amitava Banerjee told UNI, “Dilip da has unique experience of working as a lieutenant of former RSS chief K S Sudarshan. His victory from Kharagpur during a supposed Mamata wave was unique and special as Congress MLA Sohanpal had won the Kharagpur Sadar Assembly seat for seven times in a row from 1982 to 2011. He broke the myth that he was a new comer”.
In fact, due to his Nagpur connections – most BJP leaders if not all including celebrity stars take him seriously.
On the ground, local BJP supporters also credit the 54-year-old state BJP president for spearheading the Rath Yatra campaign in West Bengal and that really had galvanised party workers in a unity of purpose.
Many still remember his one liner given to TV channels, “Nothing would stop the BJP Rath Yatra to establish democracy in Bengal”.
Local party workers said in Jangipur and Murshidabad that it was Ghosh along with fellow compatriots like Mukul Roy who insisted with the central leadership that Muslim candidates would send right signals.
Of course, the detractors do not buy the line. But there is candid admission even by CPI(M) leaders in Durgapur that the saffron party’s vote share will increase.
“It is true, the BJP has made inroads in Durgapur region and places like Malda and Murshidabad,” says Durgapur CPI-M secretary Biprendu Chakraborty.
There are also on ground political reality. In Bahrampur and Malda North , the CPM-led Left Front has not fielded any candidate and to make the battle more intense Trinamool Congress has fielded former aides of Adhir Chowdhury in two of the three seats in the district.
In Medinipur too, Mamata Banerjee has been cautious and therefore fielded an old Congress hand Manas Bhuiyan.
Ghosh has been tactful while talking about Mr Bhuiyan and calls him a ‘senior and experienced man’ – but hastens to add that the fact that Bhuiyan has been a party hopper would go against him.
His new punch line that can provoke angry reactions from Trinamool camp is : “Even Muslims and women have lost their faith in Mamata Banerjee”.
However, poor results by the BJP in Lok Sabha elections may – however – hurt the future prospects of the present ‘A team’ in Bengal BJP.