Monday, 30th October 2017

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Not an embarrassment for us: BJP

The BJP had wasted no time in trying to weave a communal narrative into the June 10 incident

By A Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 18.06.19, 2:32 AM
  • Updated 18.06.19, 2:32 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Dilip Ghosh The Telegraph file picture

The thunderous applause from agitating junior doctors when Mamata Banerjee spoke to them at Nabanna on Monday and the end to their week-long strike scuppered the BJP’s chances to corner her politically.

The meeting between Mamata and the junior doctors — televised live — dashed the BJP’s hope that the protest could turn into her “Singur”.

Although no Bengal BJP leader was willing to admit it on record, some party functionaries privately expressed “surprise” at how easily Mamata had tackled the crisis.

“The incident (attack on doctors at the NRS Medical College and Hospital) took place late on June 10. From the following day, we had been trying to compound her embarrassment, while the movement kept spiralling out of control and became a national issue. How she managed to emerge from it unscathed has, at least initially, surprised us,” said a BJP insider.

“The developments at Nabanna have apparently denied us any windfall gains,” he added.

Throwing its weight behind the agitators from the outset, the BJP had wasted no time in trying to weave a communal narrative into the June 10 incident — party leaders Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy blamed a “particular community” for the attack.

As the days progressed, the students’ wing of the RSS and the BJP’s cell for state government doctors tried to keep the pot boiling.

While the likes of Ghosh and Roy kept trying to fish in muddied waters in Bengal, many national BJP leaders issued statements attacking Mamata.

The BJP government at the Centre kept issuing advisories to Nabanna.

“We had thought the agitation would expand uncontrollably to become the chief minister’s Singur, causing her eventual downfall. But all of that came to nought,” said a source in the BJP. “We had not expected the agitators to give up easily,” he rued.

However, in public, the BJP tried to put up a brave front. “How is this an embarrassment for us? Why should we be sad? This had nothing to do with us,” said state party chief and Midnapore MP Ghosh.

“If, at all, there is any positive outcome from the meeting, it will be temporary. Nobody is safe in Bengal. All of it is because — we stand by it firmly — of one community and the protection it enjoys from the Mamata Banerjee government,” he added, before welcoming the inclination of the agitators to resume normal services from Tuesday.

Roy, who held a news conference in the evening to congratulate the agitators for withdrawing the cease-work, demanded that Mamata give up the charge of home and health departments.

Another BJP leader Shishir Bajoria said: “We welcome this resolution. But this should have happened on the day one itself.”