NRC is not an issue for BJP in Bengal: Dilip Ghosh

The public mood is totally in favour of the BJP, said West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh. Photo/Twitter (@DilipGhoshBJP)

BJP state president in West Bengal and MP Dilip Ghosh in an exclusive interview to DH said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) never was and will be an issue for his party in the state. Ghosh, not known for mincing his words said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is their main issue. However, he avoided a direct reply on whether the Bill will be the BJP’s poll plank in the state in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Q. With the Ayodhya verdict and the abrogation of Article 370 done what is the next aim for BJP in relation to West Bengal?

A. The BJP’s politics in West Bengal does not depend on these issues. The BJP is working in West Bengal on the basis of a long term plan since 2016. We have targeted 23 Lok Sabha seats and ultimately won 18 seats. Currently, we are in the second position in terms of Lok Sabha seats in the state. We have employed 350 whole timers to build up our organisation. We have brought people from other parties to strengthen our party organisation. Our next target is winning the 2921 Assembly elections and for this, we are chalking out a constituency-wise strategy.

Q. Will the BJP make NRC a key poll plank in the 2021 Assembly elections?

A. NRC is no longer an issue for us in West Bengal. We have never made it an issue. Mamata Banerjee made an issue out of NRC because she will lose without the votes of infiltrators. Our issue is the Citizenship Amendment Bill. We will ensure that it gets passed in the current session of the Parliament which resolves the NRC issue.

Q. What is your opinion on the allegation by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the BJP is spreading panic over NRC in Bengal which has resulted in suicides?

A. We have never made an issue out of NRC neither have we held any public meetings and rallies about it. Mamata Banerjee has hit the streets over NRC because she has no other issue. She is afraid of losing her minority vote bank. She will no longer get votes if infiltrators are driven out of the country. NRC is an issue for her and not for us.

Not a single person has committed suicide in fear of NRC. Earlier she said 100 people have died due to demonetisation which is a blatant lie. No one has committed suicide where NRC has NRC has been conducted. Why should one commit suicide over NRC in West Bengal? If one has committed suicide it is due to his or her frustration with Mamata Banerjee’s misrule.

Q. Is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to NRC and CAB a hurdle for the BJP?

A. Does she have the authority to stop NRC being held in West Bengal? How can she stop the Citizenship Amendment Bill from being implemented in West Bengal after it is passed in Parliament? West Bengal is not outside India. She opposed demonetisation but failed to stop it. She opposed GST but failed to stop it. She opposed the abrogation of Article 370 and failed to stop it. Her MPs had to abstain from Parliament at that time. She will also fail to stop the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. She is always trying to hoodwink the people and now has been exposed. No one believes her now.

Q. Is Mamata Banerjee opposing NRC due to vote bank politics?

A. Her attempt to capitalise on Bengali sentiment has failed. If Bengalis did not trust the BJP we would not have got 2.30 crore votes in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections. Muslims have been cheated by her for years. She is getting angry over Asaduddin Owaisi’s remark over the backward condition of Muslims in West Bengal because now Muslims are asking her what has she done for them all these years. Owaisi is saying the same thing that we have been saying all along about the sorry state of affairs of Muslims in West Bengal.

Q. How confident are you of being successful in the Assembly by-elections?

A. The public mood is totally in favour of the BJP. We have defeated the TMC in the Kharagpur Assembly seat (which went to polls on Monday along with Karimpur and Kaliaganj in the by-elections) in the 2016 Assembly elections, municipal elections and got a major lead in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP will win all the three seats in the by-elections.

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