After Dilip Ghosh, 57, made way for Sukanta Majumdar, the BJP has sent out a message that it was seriously mulling to bank on young guns to galvanise the party and also face the formidable TMC. It may be recalled that West Bengal chief minister’s nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee, who was made Trinammol’s All-India general secretary, is 33. If Majumdar remains at the BJP’s helm of affairs in West Bengal, till Lok Sabha election in 2024, the blockbuster poll will be a contest of the Yuva power and how they conceive of the future of politics and policies. Currently, BJP is haunted with a string of defections and among other things Majumdar will have to keep his flock together.
It is also important to see how he gets along with BJP’s strongman Suvendu Adhikari, 50. Though not in the open, undercurrents of reported “uneasiness” between Ghosh and Adhikari was quite evident.
Majumdar, an assistant professor of botany at Gour Banga university at Mokdumpur in Malda district, is also a PhD. An active RSS worker, Majumdar made it to Parliament in 2019 by defeating TMC’s Arpita Ghosh from Balurghat seat with a margin of over 33,000. Arpita, it may be recalled, was sent to the Elders’ House but had resigned recently.
Majumdar has his hands full and will have an uphill task in resolving the factional issues in the party and that too well in time for the crucial Big Poll in 2024. BJP would certainly want to better its tally of 18 Lok Sabha seats from the last time, notwithstanding the crushing defeat the party faced in the recent Assembly poll.
Why someone from north Bengal?
Majumdar’s rise to head the party in the state signals the central leadership’s keenness in the affairs of North Bengal where it did well in the Assembly poll. Of the 54 Assembly seats in North Bengal, the BJP grabbed 30 — which is more than 50 per cent in the region. Its north Bengal kitty sums up to be around 40 per cent of the 77 seats it won in the state.
The importance of North Bengal was also revealed in the cabinet reshuffle of Narendra Modi 2.0 in July. BJP MPs from North Bengal, Nisith Pramanik and John Barla became ministers of state. Unlike Dilip Ghosh, Majumdar hasn’t made headlines for his controversial remarks and statements.