Kolkata: The post-poll violence in West Bengal had left the BJP karyakartas demoralised but the party is trying to regain their confidence and the workers are ready to fight the “Taliban Trinamool Congress”, the new BJP Bengal state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
In an interview with ThePrint, Majumdar also said that this time around, not just BJP workers but the people of Bengal also allegedly bore the brunt of the violence, even those who are not active BJP workers.
“… Their houses have been vandalised, their women raped, people have been murdered. It’s a unique situation,” he alleged.
“We have to fight. Our karyakartas, our workers, are ready to fight… They need confidence… Obviously we are trying to regain the confidence of our workers. They are daring to go, they are ready to fight the Taliban Trinamool Congress and save West Bengal.”
Majumdar, a first-time Lok Sabha MP from Balurghat, was appointed BJP state president on 20 September, replacing Dilip Ghosh.
Asked how the BJP is gearing up for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls after its humiliating defeat in the assembly elections earlier this year, Majumdar said it wasn’t right to say the party faced humiliation.
“From 3 to 77 (seats won by BJP in the assembly election) is not a joke. In a state like Bengal, I don’t think there is any party that achieved such a huge jump in such a short time span,” he said. “Yes, we targeted a much greater number of seats but we could not achieve it.”
Majumdar added that right now his priority is to ready the party for the 2024 elections.
“I can’t predict the number but our performance will be better than the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said. “People of this country have realised that the only hope for India is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I am confident people will vote for us.”
To a question on how he is planning to reorganise the party after the assembly election debacle, Majumdar said that BJP is a regimented party and that he will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Dilip Ghosh.
“The chair is actually temporary. I am here maybe for one term, maybe less than that. Earlier Dilipda was here. After a few years, someone else will be here. We have a specific ideology, a specific way of functioning,” he said. “So every president, whoever is given charge, has to follow that. I am also concentrating on that… From where Dilipda has left. I am following the path of Dilipda only as he followed the path of his predecessor.”
Majumdar also said that there has been no mass desertion in the BJP after the assembly elections.
“There are not many people who are leaving. The main strength of BJP lies in the old karyakartas who are fighting… They are with us,” he said. “We don’t have any problem. Yes, some people joined the BJP before elections. They left. They could have stayed. I can’t say why they left.”
‘Want to save West Bengal, state a national security risk’
On his other priorities, the BJP state president said he was looking to save West Bengal.
“The West Bengal state is becoming a security threat to the whole country. Lots of organisations are coming here, taking shelter, their armed men are coming and taking shelter,” he claimed. “All this causes great threat to the internal security of the country. To save the country, we have to save Bengal first.”
Majumdar said that the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is habituated to playing politics over dead bodies. He was referring to Manas Saha, the BJP candidate from Magrahat Paschim in South 24 Parganas district who died Wednesday. BJP has alleged that he was a victim of the post poll-violence.
“It has nothing to do with the Bhabanipur election. Mamata Banerjee says there is no such thing as post-poll violence. So what happened to this man?” Majumdar asked. “And is there any instance in the country where an opposition candidate has been killed for being a party candidate. Is there any instance? Only the Maoists did such things.”
The BJP state president also thinks the opposition narrative that the party has opted for a lightweight candidate in fielding Priyanka Tibrewal against Mamata Banerjee in the Bhabanipur bypoll is not correct.
“Previously they used to say that who is Priyanka Tibrewal? But now Mamata Banerjee is appealing to the public that please come and vote for her otherwise she won’t be chief minister of West Bengal. Why is she so worried?” Majumdar asked.
“I don’t know if inside her party there is some problem… Maybe some people do not want her to become the CM… Maybe that’s why she is fearing…”
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)