Kolkata: It was more or less on the cards but still Dilip Ghosh’s ouster as the BJP president in West Bengal is yet to sink in. The Lok Sabha MP’s tenure was to end in January 2023, and plans were afoot to look for a replacement, but nobody even in his wildest imagination thought, curtains would be drawn on Monday, September 20 itself.
There is no denying the fact that Ghosh antagonised too many within the party to prolong his stay at the helm of affairs in the state – Mukul Roy, Babul Supriyo and some other senior leaders, reportedly unable to endure the humiliation from Ghosh, defected to TMC. And the list of the ones sending overtures is long enough.
There are leaders within the party who have been left in the lurch by Ghosh’s autocratic way of functioning – Suvendu Adhikari though is least perturbed and runs roughshod with tacit support from the High Command, but there are so many partymen who have found it irksome to cope up with Ghosh’s headstrong attitude.
As per reports, the BJP top brass was miffed at the barrage of resentments placed before it which ultimately drew Ghosh’s nemesis as the party chief in the state, replaced by a reticent and low-profile Balurghat MP Sukanta Mazumdar.
Ghosh, no doubt is facing the heat for giving two hoots to the growing dissent within the saffron unit in the state and has to be content with an inconsequential post of the party vice-president. Yes life can change overnight, but did he truly deserve to incur the wrath? Will the party in the state be able to recharge its batteries without a motormouth Ghosh as its president?
Gauging the reasons behind his exit objectively, it may not be untrue that Ghosh got a raw deal. Let’s not scoff at the fact that despite the loopholes, Ghosh spearheaded BJP’s rejuvenation against the invincible charisma of Mamata Banerjee. Be it in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls or the 2021 Assembly Elections, the saffron party torpedoed all calculations to emerge as the only challenger to TMC decimating the Congress-Left alliance.
Ghosh took over the reins of the party at a time when it was gasping for breath. Rahul Sinha was given a long rope as the party head but to no avail. No wonder the BJP powers that be backed by their RSS guardians, looked to a no-nonsense Ghosh to stem the rot and get the party out of wilderness. The man with roots in RSS had to weather many a storm to take the party to new heights.
In one sense, Ghosh’s aggression was the much-needed impetus the workers at the grass roots needed to come out of the hole. It’s true, he often courted controversies with his puerile remarks bereft of substance but that should stand insignificant amid the relentless efforts he put in to set the house in order and the electoral success by BJP’s standards is a vindication.
Dictatorship is the need of the hour if you are given a broken house that lacks vision and direction. A BJP reeling under lack of guidance had too many ambitions to deal with and Ghosh took up the gauntlet at a precarious juncture which demanded assertion and no buckling under pressure. And he had no other option than pulling the strings.
The dream of usurping the Mamata regime may have looked a bit impractical, yet from a single figure to 77 seats immediately after the state polls cannot be brushed under the carpet. If Ghosh got the boot for his failure to form the government then the logic would be unfounded because too much of involvement of national leaders during the poll campaign ignored the local sentiment which obviously was not the handiwork of Ghosh and ilk. So, the BJP High Command cannot prevaricate in this context.
Ghosh’s antagonists within his party may be asking for their share of the cherry, but no team can excel without rock-hard leadership that is the fulcrum of a unit.
But perhaps, Ghosh got swayed by success and took the High Command’s support for granted. A man in no mood to throw his hands in despair, he stayed put despite a mass exodus from his party but he probably is left flummoxed by the repercussions of the disquiet against him within the party.
So, what would be the roadmap for the party under a new skipper? Mazumdar is stepping in when TMC is pulling out every possible stop to engineer defections from BJP. Mazumdar has an uphill task in hand to stymie this migration or else BJP could well slip down the order on the floor of the house from the current 71 MLAs post some desertions.
Mazumdar would for sure have the back of the Modi-Shah-Nadda trio, but heading a unit which is a hotbed of whimsicality would require a lot to streamline.
In one sense, both Ghosh and Mazumdar have one thing in common – they were more or less unknown entities people didn’t have much clue about when entrusted with the coveted responsibility. Hence like Ghosh, Mazumdar has nothing to lose knowing fully well that he would be walking a tightrope.
But it is imperative that the erudite lawmaker walks that extra mile to win the confidence of his colleagues and infuse a sense of exigency in his workers left baffled by the ego-driven pursuit of their Knights in Shining Armour ( irrespective of genders).
Mazumdar has to pull off a la Dilip Ghosh to steer the party into the future or else he would end up belying the trust of his Delhi bosses. BJP in West Bengal at this crossroads would need another Ghosh who would not be submissive and not hesitate to be harsh if required.
Ghosh may now be staring down the barrel wondering what went wrong, but deep down amid regrets, he would wish his superiors saw reason in his style. But let’s not renounce that absolute power started telling on him. A bit of a balance could have saved Ghosh’s skin.
Over to a new era and here’s hoping for the best!