New Delhi: The “unexpected” poll loss for the BJP in West Bengal is likely to result in the replacement of key leaders from the state who were tasked with winning the elections. Among the leaders who are going to be replaced for what party insiders have called a “poor performance” in the elections, are BJP Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh, state’s general secretary (organisation) Amitava Chakraborty, Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya and co-observer Arvind Menon.
Dilip Ghosh, the state party president, and Kailash Vijayvargiya, who led the party to the elections this year, are likely to face the axe first, since sources say that BJP’s topmost leadership had reposed maximum faith in these leaders for winning this election, but the party could not even win 100 seats out of the 294 Assembly seats in the state.
Dilip Ghosh has been the president of the BJP in Bengal for the last six years. He was appointed as the state unit chief in 2015 and had led the party in the 2016 Assembly elections, 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the 2021 Assembly elections. Kailash Vijayvargiya was also appointed as the central observer for Bengal around the same time in 2015.
In the 2019 elections, the BJP had won 18 Lok Sabha seats from Bengal and according to estimates, this translated into 126 seats, but the performance of the BJP in the Assembly elections in 2021 was far behind this tally.
The BJP won just 77 seats in the 294-seat Assembly this time around. The team of four, which was tasked with winning Bengal for the BJP for the first time, sources say, had repeatedly told Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the party was “definitely” going to win at least 150 seats.
A BJP functionary from Delhi, who is aware of the developments in Bengal, told this correspondent that the topmost leadership of the party is very disheartened with the election results.
“Amit Shah and the top leadership of the party were very confident that the BJP would form the next government in Bengal. The same was also repeatedly communicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is evident from the large number of political programmes that they did in the state. However, the post-election result analysis shows that the Bengal unit of the BJP had fed incorrect information to the central leaders. The party is looking to rejig the entire unit which led to this poor performance of the party,” a top BJP functionary told this correspondent.
Contrary to the central BJP leadership’s view that the BJP has performed poorly in Bengal, the state unit of the BJP, including Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya, was seen rejoicing over the increased tally of the BJP which went up from 3 seats in 2016 to 77 seats in 2021 in the state.