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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Rahul Sinha, the long-time BJP leader still waiting for a poll win

In February this year, the BJP leader said unemployment ran so high in Bengal that brothels in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai were filled with women from the state.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
Updated: April 14, 2021 6:21:40 pm
Election Commission, Rahul Sinha, West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021, election, BJP West Bengal, Bengal elections, india news, indian expressRahul Sinha (File photo)

Now holding the dubious distinction of being the rare political leader prohibited from campaigning by the Election Commission without being given a hearing, Rahul Sinha, 57, has so far been known for another dubitable distinction: of having contested numerous elections in his long political career without winning any.

The Trinamool has often underlined Sinha’s failure to cross this electoral hurdle in its campaign against the BJP. This time, the BJP leader, who stepped down as its Bengal chief in 2015 after two terms, is contesting from Habra in North 24 Parganas district that votes on April 22.

Sinha earned the EC’s ban on campaigning for 48 hours over his statement that security forces should have killed eight people instead of four in the violence that erupted in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of polling on April 10.

However, it is not Sinha’s first brush with controversy over his remarks. In 2017, Sinha had accused the CBI of assaulting the late Trinamool MP Tapas Paul following the latter’s arrest in the Rose Valley Chit Fund scam. In February this year, the BJP leader said unemployment ran so high in Bengal that brothels in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai were filled with women from the state.

While the BJP has risen as a serious political player in Bengal only now, Sinha has been with the party in the state since it evolved into the BJP from Jan Sangh in 1980. He was elected state president in 2009 and 2012, and hence headed the party when it broke new ground in Bengal winning two Lok Sabha seats in 2014. Sinha was succeeded by Dilip Ghosh in 2015 and made the national secretary of the BJP.

Last year, Sinha was dropped as national secretary too. The party said it was a routine reshuffle to make way for new leaders into its committees. Sinha had made his displeasure at the decision evident, threatening so far as to quit the party. The BJP central leadership had stepped in to placate Sinha.

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