BJP has to win Bengal to expand ideological footprint, secure eastern borders: Dilip Ghosh

KOLKATA: Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy’s return to the TMC evoked mixed reactions in the saffron camp on Friday, with its state unit president Dilip Ghosh asserting that the move will have no impact on his organisation, and former MP Anupam Hazra claiming that “lobby politics at play is adversely affecting the party”.

BJP state general secretary Joyprakash Majumder, on his part, extended his best wishes to Roy, and said that he should immediately quit all saffron party posts.

“Mukul babu is a veteran leader, he is a known face in Bengal politics. We wish him the best in his new innings, but shouldn’t he forthwith quit from the primary membership and all other posts of the BJP? Shouldn’t he not resign as the MLA as he had won a seat on Lotus (BJP) symbol,” Majumder said.

Roy along with son Subrangshu was on Friday cordially welcomed back to the TMC by party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other senior leaders.

He had quit the TMC in 2015, after being removed from the post of the party’s national general secretary, and sucsequently joined the BJP two years later.

Ghosh, while talking to reporters, said to he was not sure if the BJP would lose anything from Roy’s decision, given that he was “unsure whether we gained anything” from his entry three-and-half years back.

“Right now, we are bothered about more serious issues as the cycle of violence goes on unabated in the state.

We are bothered about the safety of our workers, who are being targeted by TMC activists,” he added.

Hazra, earlier in the day, said lobby politics with the saffron camp has led to such a situation, hours before Roy made his re-entry in the Mamata Banerjee camp.

Taking to Twitter, he contended that it was high time that the state unit of the BJP put an end to the practice and utilise leaders according to their merit.

The former MP, who had switched over from the TMC to the BJP in 2018, however, asserted that he will continue to be a part of the saffron camp under all circumstances.

“Too much importance has been accorded to one or two leaders while ignoring and humiliating the rest.

That has led to the present sad situation.

There is also no trace of the royal passengers who had taken a chartered flight,” the academic-turned-politician, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, said.

Hazra was possibly referring to TMC turncoats Baishali Dalmiya, Rajib Banerjee and Prabir Ghosal, who had taken a chartered flight to Union Home Minister Amit Shahs residence in Delhi earlier this year.

He further said, “Please don’t give me the tag of a disgruntled leader for this post. I am with the BJP and will remain in the BJP. But the dirty lobby politics should come to an end. This is all I want.”

A section of state BJP leaders are of the view that Roy and other senior leaders, including Sabyasachi Dutta, were not accorded due importance by the saffron party top brass during the assembly elections, and only a handful of leaders, such as Suvendu Adhikari and actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty were given all responsibilities.

Hinting he was not made a part of important meetings, Hazra said, “Hoping to get an invite to state unit meetings of the BJP as per protocol.”