After the BJP dropped him from the post of vice-president, Chandra Kumar Bose, the grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, said his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), and his lack of winnability in elections may have prompted the purge.
“Probably, I was dropped because I am going against the party line on the CAA and NRC, and I was defeated in the 2016 and 2019 elections. So the party probably thought I am not a winning candidate. In electoral politics, everybody wants to win,” he told The Indian Express. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Bose had lost the Kolkata South constituency by a margin of more than 1.50 lakh votes.
The Bengal BJP issued a new list of office-bearers on Monday, bearing in mind next year’s crucial Assembly elections. In the new list, many leaders like Arjun Singh and Sabyasachi Dutta got prominent posts.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are tall leaders of the BJP. I have no comments on them. Other BJP leaders thought that I could do magic because I am the grandnephew of Netaji. But I can’t. How can I win the election where we have no organisation? Though I increased the BJP vote count from 4,800 to 27,000 against Mamata Banerjee,” said Bose, referring his vote count of 26,299 in the 2016 Assembly polls when he was pitted against Banerjee from the Bhabanipur seat. In the 2011 state polls, the BJP could garner only 5,078 votes against her.
Talking about his objection to the CAA and NRC, he said these laws discriminate against Muslims, which runs counter to Netaji’s ideology.
“How can they segregate Muslims like this? Netaji’s ideology never said that. He formed the Azad Hind Fauj with participation from all religions. So, I opposed the CAA-NRC. If the whole country has erupted in protest, including all educational institutions such as IIMs and IITs, there is something really wrong which is needs to be addressed. But it seems my suggestions did not go down well with Central leaders.”
He, however, said that he does not subscribe to “Mamata Banerjee’s politics of Muslim appeasement”, and believes in equality.
“I am happy with Modiji. If he gives time, I will speak with him and the Central leadership. I want to do party work and the state leadership is not giving me that space. If the Central leadership gives me space, I am ready to do work for the party,” Bose said.
State BJP leaders refused to comment on Bose’s removal. State BJP leader Sayantan Bose said, “He never talked to us. So, I will not say anything about him.”
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