This Article is From Nov 17, 2020

"Hundred Times We Will Try To Turn Bengal To Gujarat": BJP's Dilip Ghosh

Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and the Trinamool's Firhad Hakim trade angry words over the opposition party's claim of converting Bengal into Gujarat

'Hundred Times We Will Try To Turn Bengal To Gujarat': BJP's Dilip Ghosh

Dilip Ghosh is chief of the BJP's Bengal unit (File)


In Bengal the drums of war grow louder every moment with less than six months to go for Assembly elections. The BJP has sent central leaders Amit Malviya and Sunil Deodhar to Kolkata and the two will meet with party officials today. In the opposite corner, the Left and the Congress will also meet to work out a joint strategy. The ruling Trinamool, meanwhile, is locked in a verbal war with the BJP.

The chief of the party's state unit said he wants to promote industrial growth in Bengal to create employment and turn the state into Gujarat. The Trinamool's Firhad Hakim, a state minister, shot back, saying Bengal didn't want to turn into a state of encounter killings and riots.

"The condition of the people in the whole country has changed. The condition of the country's poor has changed everywhere except in Bengal," Mr Ghosh said, adding, "The people gave them an opportunity for 10 years but the only development was in the home of the Trinamool leader."

"Young men from here have to go to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka or Haryana to get work. They have become migrant labour. The Bengal that used to give India IAS and IPS officers, doctors, engineers, professors and scientists... that Bengal is now giving the country migrant labourers," he declared.

"That's why we're trying to turn Bengal into Gujarat. Didi (Ms Banerjee) sometimes warns you... I say 'yes, of course'. Hundred times we will try to turn Bengal into Gujarat. Our young man will get jobs here... nobody will have to go to Gujarat anymore," Mr Ghosh added.

Firhad Hakim, the ruling Trinamool's Urban Affairs Minister, shot back.

"2000 people were murdered in Gujarat. Many like Ishrat Jahan were killed in encounters. That's why we don't want to become Gujarat. We want to remain Bengal," he said.

Mr Hakim also took a dig at the BJP over the closure of the Tata Nano factory in Gujarat's Sanand, saying: "In Gujarat, some people have been given a fiefdom in industry, especially Adani and Ambani... only their units are running, the rest are shut. Even the Nano factory is shut."

"So we don't want that kind of development... which has led to India's GDP to fall below even a tiny country like Bangladesh. How will we ever erase this blot? That is why... let Dilip Ghosh go to Gujarat, we are happy the way we are in Bengal," he added.

Ever since the BJP claimed 18 of 42 parliamentary seats (in Lok Sabha elections in April-May last year), the party has been making a serious bid to claim majority in Bengal's 294-member Assembly.

The BJP, today, has only 13 MLAs. The Trinamool has a commanding majority but is battling dissension in its ranks; Shubhendu Adhikari, a senior and powerful leader, has been sounding a rebellion and may announce his exit from the party later this week.