BJP leader Chandra Bose, the grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on Tuesday hailed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's “secular credentials”, claiming that she has "never indulged in divisive politics, unlike the saffron party", fuelling speculations in political circles.
Bose, who has a strained relationship with the BJP’s state leadership after being dropped as the state vice president a few years back, said the saffron party has turned into a "B-team" of the TMC in West Bengal.
He, however, claimed that he resigned from the post of vice-president of the BJP’s state unit but continued to serve the party.
"Mamata Banerjee has ushered in a lot of development for the people of the state. She has never indulged in divisive politics or differentiated on the basis of religion, caste, or creed. The BJP, in contrast, indulges in divisive politics, but that won't yield results in the long run because it is denting the image of the country around the globe," Bose told PTI.
His comment comes a day after he shared the stage with Banerjee at a programme to commemorate the birth anniversary of the freedom fighter.
For the last few years, Bose has been maintaining a distance from the state leadership of the BJP since the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) issue cropped up in 2019.
He feels that “divisive politics” was the nemesis of the saffron camp in West Bengal in the 2021 assembly polls.
"The BJP has turned into a B-team of the TMC in West Bengal. The BJP gave tickets to around 148 TMC turncoats in 2021; only two or three won. So, what is the need for being in the B-team in West Bengal if you want to be in politics? I stand by my principles and the ideology of Netaji," Bose said.
When asked whether he would be joining the TMC in the near future, Bose declined to give a direct reply.
"Only time will tell; I have not decided anything as of now," he said.
However, while speaking to a news channel, he said, “If I have to do politics, I would do it with the A-team, rather than the B-team.” The West Bengal BJP, however, declined to attach much importance to Bose's comment.
"Maybe he is trying to create a narrative to make a smooth switchover to the TMC," BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh said.
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