West Bengal unit of the BJP has announced its new steering committee for the state panchayat polls of 2023 keeping out the party’s former state president and the current vice-president Dilip Ghosh out of it. Actress turned-politician and the party MP from Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency, Locket Chatterjee, known as a close confidant of Dilip Ghosh, has also not been given any berth in the steering committee.
The decision has taken many political observers in the state by surprise since in the 2018 West Bengal panchayat polls, BJP under the leadership of Ghosh as the-then state president did quite well and established itself as the principal opposition party in West Bengal replacing Left Front for the first time.
However, top BJP leaders including Ghosh and the party’s current state president, Sukanta Majumdar have refused to make any comment on the formation of the steering committee. However, a member of the state committee, on strict condition of anonymity that since as a national vice-president Dilip Ghosh has been burdened with so many national level responsibilities so he has been relieved of responsibilities relating to panchayat polls.
BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, Debasree Chaudhuri had been made in-charge of the said steering committee. Two other Lok Sabha members from West Bengal namely Jagannath Sarkar from Ranaghat in Nadia district and Saumitra Khan from Bishnupur in Bankura district have been made the co-in-charge of the committee. Party state general secretary and MLA from Falakata assembly constituency in Alipurduar district, Dipak Barman has been made the convener of the committee.
It is learnt that West Bengal will be under special focus in the BJP’s National Executive Committee meeting at Hyderabad. “Following the return of BJP leaders back to Trinamool Congress, especially the party’s heavyweight MP from Barrackpore Lok Sabha, Arjun Singh, a debate has erupted in the state committee on how much the party can depend on turncoats who joined BJP from Trinamool. This matter is expected to be raised in the National Executive Committee meeting,” confirmed a state committee member.