PUTTING AN end to months of speculation, Dilip Ghosh, a senior RSS hand, was appointed as the new BJP chief on Friday, replacing Rahul Sinha, whose term had ended in September.
A statement issued by the office of BJP national president Amit Shah also announced that Sinha has been made a party national secretary. Sources said actor-turned-BJP leader Rupa Ganguly could be named the party vice-president in the state. She is also likely to head the state BJP women’s cell or Mahila Morcha, said a BJP leader.
Ghosh was a state BJP general secretary after he joined the party some time ago. His appointment puts an end to months of speculation as the party mulled whether to let Sinha continue till the 2016 Assembly polls in the state or replace him as demanded by several Bengal leaders, who had argued that BJP was steadily losing its support after putting up a strong show in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and needed a leadership change.
Shah’s statement also came after several leaders alleged that Sinha had misused his post for personal gains.
Now, a number of changes are expected in the state party committee. “More announcements will be made next week… Many leaders, who had left other parties and joined BJP, would be given important positions in the committee,” said a senior BJP leader.
He claimed that while the central leadership has been apprised of Sinha’s alleged misappropriations, with the state to go to polls next year, he would not be removed from all posts of importance as it would send a negative signal to the people.
Ghosh, however, said: “It is our pride that Rahul Sinha has been made a national secretary. As far as I am concerned, I had
always worked for the party and will now have to come to the forefront and do the same job.”
Asked about his priorities, he said he would work towards strengthening the party and prepare for the Assembly elections.
Subrata Mukherjee, vice-president of BJP’s north east Kolkata unit, who has been demanding a leadership change in Bengal, said: “I think we still have time to salvage the party’s reputation under the leadership of Dilip Ghosh.”
Despite repeated attempts, Sinha could not be contacted for comments.