West Bengal: BJP State President Dilip Ghosh’s statement on Saturday in Jalpaiguri in support of his party MP, and union minister, John Barla’s demand for a separate state major has lead many to believe that the State President has made taken a U-turn from his previous decision that the party does not want to divide or break the state of Bengal.
Dilip Ghosh, who is currently on a tour of north Bengal, had said that John Barla’s demand for north Bengal to be a separate state was not unjustified.
Ghosh claimed, “For last 75 years, the people of North Bengal didn’t get proper infrastructure and are still backward. They didn’t get proper health care, education facilities and John Barla being their elected representative demanded what the common people want and his claim is legal. The party has the stand and will decide on it.”
Ghosh further accused the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of depriving north Bengal of any development, Dilip Ghosh said, “Today if Jangalmahal or north Bengal want to be separated (from Bengal), then it is entirely because of Mamata Banerjee.“
He questioned, “Why are there no good hospitals, schools and colleges and no jobs. It is the same in Jangalmahal. Our mothers and sisters have to sell saal leaves to make a living. Why do they have to go to Ranchi, Odisha or Gujarat for jobs? Do they not have the right to be part of this country’s progress?”
However, even though Ghosh did support Barla‘s demand, he maintained that his organisation does not support the division of Bengal.
Ghosh claims that the demand that Barla is making is actually the demand of the people of the region and not of the party, as the people do not see any development under the TMC rule.
In early June, John Barla raised a demand for a separate state or UT as North Bengal and said that after the pandemic situation is stabilized he will personally meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and forward his proposal.
BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, at that time, had stated that John’s claim is personal and also that BJP doesn’t believe in divisive politics.
Following John’s claim, BJP Bishnupur MP Saumitra Khan in mid-June also demanded separate statehood for the Jangalmahal area and wanted separate Rarh Bengal.
Meanwhile, senior TMC leader and minister of transport and housing, Firhad Hakim said, “BJP believes in the ‘divide-and-rule’ policy.”
Political Analyst Shubhomoy Maitra told India Ahead, “It is a very hazy place they are trying to decide which side they will take. This view can change as per the political evolution in the state and Centre. It is a part of evolving political process and nothing can be said very specifically about it. There is a very little risk right now in making such statements as there is no election and will not directly affect the voting pattern.”
Another political analyst Udayan Bandhopadhay claimed that Gjosh is making such statements to remain in the limelight,” his importance in the party is diminishing thus he is making such statements to remain in the limelight.”