With an eye on the 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal, the BJP on Thursday re-elected Dilip Ghosh as president of its state unit for the second consecutive term till 2023. Being the only nominee for the post, Ghosh, the BJP MP from Kharagpur, was elected unopposed at the state committee meeting here.
“I am happy with the decision of the party. I have always stood by our dedicated workers and will continue to do so. I will finish all my pending task as the state president of BJP. All I can say is that the BJP will not concede an inch of space in West Bengal, and I will fight till the end and won’t stop till BJP forms the next government in West Bengal,” he said after he was handed the certificate by BJP national general secretary Murlidhar Rao.
Ghosh’s re-election comes days after he courted a controversy for threatening to shoot and kill protesters involved in damaging public property “like in Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka” during the agitation against the new citizenship law.
Hitting out at the opposition, Ghosh said, “There are a few people who are criticising me for my comments. I want to make myself clear that the time has come for the BJP. Earlier, they (parties opposed to the BJP) used to speak and we listened, now we will speak and they will listen.”
What Ghosh’s re-election means to party
The re-election of Dilip Ghosh as state BJP chief for next three years makes it clear that the party has put its faith on his leadership to contest the 2021 Assembly polls. Since his appointment as state BJP chief in 2015, Ghosh has been instrumental in expanding the organisation and is credited as for adopting a hardline approach unlike his predecessors. Despite courting controversies for making inflammatory speeches, Ghosh has been able to reach out to the grassroots.
Ghosh was appointed to the post in December 2015 for three years. Since then he has been continuing as the state BJP chief after receiving an extension in December 2018, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls last years. He has been credited for the meteoric growth of the BJP in West Bengal as the party won 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the last year’s elections, and now he will lead the party’s state unit in the civic polls due in a few months and the crucial 2021 Assembly elections.
An RSS man, Ghosh was brought into the BJP in 2014 and appointed as general secretary of the party’s West Bengal unit. In 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections, Ghosh won from Kharagpur Sadar constituency in West Midnapore district by defeating seven-time Congress MLA Gyan Singh Sohanpal.
In Lok Sabha polls last year, Ghosh won from the Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency by a margin of 88,952 votes by defeating Trinamool Congress heavyweight candidate and former Congress leader Manas Bhunia. However, under his leadership, the party failed to retain the Kharagpur Assembly seat in the bypoll held last year, despite him campaigning extensively.