November 3, 2021 3:03:59 am
Within six months of its chastening defeat to the Trinamool Congress in the West Bengal Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received a severe jolt on Tuesday, failing to win any of the four Assembly constituencies for which by-elections were held on October 30. Former state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh blamed the TMC’s “terror tactics” for the party’s defeat.
In further embarrassment, the party candidates lost their deposits after suffering heavy defeats in Dinhata, Gosaba and Khardah constituencies. Dinhata in Cooch Behar district, which had elected BJP’s Nisith Pramanik in the Assembly polls, slipped out of the party’s kitty after Trinamool candidate Udayan Guha romped home by a record margin. The ruling party also wrested the Santipur seat in Nadia district from the BJP. Red-faced over the party’s disastrous poll showing, several BJP leaders resorted to pointing fingers at each other.
Former Tripura Governor and BJP state president Tathagata Roy held party’s national vice-president Dilip Ghosh and Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, among others, responsible for the electoral debacle. “The party gave too much importance to leaders from other parties and opened its doors to opportunists. The old-timers, who believed in the party’s ideals, were humiliated. Their credibility was questioned.
“They had helped the party win 18 seats (in West Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha polls). But the party said otherwise. All these factors contributed to the party performing so poorly. Those in the BJP, who were responsible for managing the election in Bengal, and those who picked the candidates should take the blame,” Roy said.
Party MP Jagannath Sarkar, who had won from Santipur constituency in state Assembly polls earlier this year but resigned to hold on to his Lok Sabha seat, admitted that people did not vote for the BJP due to its lack of organisational strength. “There is no denying that we did not get the support of the people. There is a lack of organisational strength. Perhaps, they also failed to acknowledge and appreciate some of the policies of the Central government. There is a need for introspection to understand why we failed to win the bypolls,” Sarkar said.
Ghosh, however, refused to give much importance to Roy’s comments. “He says a lot of things and tweets a lot. I don’t think we need to react to whatever he says,” the former BJP state chief said.
He further said that the BJP candidates lost because of the “terror tactics” employed by the Trinamool. “If the state goes to bypolls again in the near future, the Trinamool will get 100 per cent votes.
People voted for them out of fear of post-poll retribution. Our candidates could not campaign in the face of the terror unleashed by the Trinamool. Hence, it’s not the people’s mandate that cost us the bypolls. We were defeated by the Trinamool’s violence and terror,” Ghosh said.
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