Why BJP chose Sukanta Majumdar as new West Bengal chief?
Amid reports of a brewing crisis in the BJP's West Bengal unit, the party's National President JP Nadda on Monday appointed Lok Sabha MP Sukanta Majumdar as its new state party president. Rumors were abuzz about a possible change of guard as many leaders in the state deserted the party after BJP's debacle in recently held state Assembly elections. Here are more details.
Sukanta Majumdar is an MP from the Balurghat constituency in West Bengal's South Dinajpur district. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Committee on Petitions. Majumdar has done his Ph.D in Botany from the University of North Bengal. He has a modest family background - his father was a government employee, and his mother was a primary school teacher.
While many were surprised at Majumdar's elevation, BJP insiders told CNN-News18 it was expected, given his longstanding association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Majumdar has been an RSS member since his childhood. He was reportedly groomed by RSS veteran Debi Das Chaudhuri—the father of former MoS Deboshree Chaudhuri. Majumdar also helped the BJP in increasing its vote share in West Bengal's border regions.
"He was inspired toward RSS by my father...He is my cousin...I hope under his leadership BJP Bengal will rise further...I think...he is capable enough to take the party toward a significant goal," said Deboshree Chaudhuri, whose name was also doing rounds for the same post.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Majumdar thanked BJP leaders for "reposing faith" in him as the new Bengal chief. "The party has given me this responsibility and I will try my best to fulfill the expectation of my party leaders." Stating that he has spoken to his predecessor Dilip Ghosh, Majumdar said, "I will be looking for his guidance in taking the party forward in Bengal."
Talking about the challenges ahead, Majumdar said, "The challenges are there and I will face them." "My priority will be to strengthen the booths and to stand beside my booth/party workers." He also downplayed the rift within the party, saying differences are inevitable in a big family like the BJP. "I am not concerned about it as long as we are united ideologically."
On Babul Supriyo's switch to the TMC, Majumdar said, "Babul da is senior to me...I think it would have been better if he would have stayed back." "I believe those who are connected with the BJP ideologically will not leave and join another party," he added. He further asserted that he has his own style of working and that "will be visible soon."
Clarifying the saffron party's stand on the "division" of Bengal, Majumdar said, "There are some MPs who highlighted the grievances of people in North Bengal. But I would like to clarify that the BJP doesn't believe in the division of Bengal."
Majumdar succeeded Ghosh as the Bengal BJP President after the latter was appointed as the national Vice President of the party. Speaking to CNN-News18, Ghosh welcomed Majumdar as the new Bengal BJP chief and wished him the best. On his stint, Ghosh said, "I became...President in 2015 and then BJP was not visible in...State's politics...In 2021, we emerged as an Opposition party in Bengal."