BJP leader Roopa Ganguly Saturday said that the remarks made by the party’s state president Rahul Sinha over her recent visit to Habra has left her “hurt”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the actor-turned-politician said that when she decided to go to storm-hit Habra and Ashoknagar in North 24 Parganas on July 30, she did so “on (her) own” and did not consider taking “permission” from the state leadership, the point which Sinha has raised.
“No, I didn’t (take permission) because I have my own identity other than being a party worker. I thought it was my responsibility to stand by the people in the time of distress and do whatever little I could,” she said, and added that comments made by Rahul Sinha have “hurt me”.
The leader also made clear the stand she will take should a similar situation arises in future. “I want to say that if there is a similar situation, I will do exactly what I did. There are times when we have to forget that we are representatives of a political party. This is my kind of politics which I want to show to the people of Bengal,” she said.
While Ganguly has said that her visit was a “private affair”, questions were raised over BJP workers accompanying her. “I had spoken to Jayprakash Majumdar the night before and he agreed to come with me. When we reached there, people, irrespective of their political affiliation, joined me. There were supporters of TMC and CPM along with our party workers,” Ganguly clarified, adding that “there were a few troublemakers present there who tried to cause trouble.”
“But I did not make any political or controversial statement there. I met the people and was told by one woman that they have not received any help from the district administration. I told her that as soon as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee returns, she will come to meet them in person.”
When reminded about her comment in an interview to this newspaper that she would “quit” the party if there ever was “a clash of principles and the issue was not sorted”, Ganguly refused to comment. “All I can say is that it is the party’s internal matter and it would be sorted behind closed doors. This issue will not be made public.”
Meamwhile, Sinha claimed that there was no error on his part. “Roopa had told me that it was a private visit and that is what I had told the press. As far as I am concerned, it is a closed chapter now,” he said.
Party’s only MLA in West Bengal Assembly claimed that there “was a communication gapm which was misinterpreted by the media”.
Senior BJP leader Jayprakash Majumdar, however, termed the developments as unfortunate.
“This is unfortunate. It should have been sorted within the party. The maturity which Roopa has displayed by not making any public comment, in a democratic party like the BJP, Rahul should have done the same,” Majumdar said.