Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Saturday identified “fear and confusion over NRC” as a key factor for the party’s Assembly bypoll debacle.
“We have initially identified three to four reasons for our defeat. I have asked our three state general secretaries to review in detail the real cause and submit a report by next weekend,” said Ghosh, also the Midnapore MP.
Ghosh was speaking after a meeting to assess the “unexpected electoral results” with five general secretaries and state general secretary (organisation) Subrata Chatterjee.
According to sources in 6 Muralidhar Sen Lane — the state BJP headquarters in Calcutta — senior leader Raju Banerjee will review the results in North Dinajpur’s Kaliaganj constituency, while Sanjay Singh and Sayantan Basu would look into the outcomes at Nadia’s Karimpur and West Midnapore’s Kharagpur Sadar Assembly seats, respectively.
A BJP insider said apart from the National Register of Citizens (NRC), overconfidence among all levels of leaders and workers, delay in launching campaigns and failure to convince people about the benefits of the Citizenship Amendment Bill had gone against the saffron camp.
There was no clear answer from the BJP sources on whether they would slam the brakes on talking about NRC after the surprise results. “That’s a call we cannot take… Senior party leaders will dwell on it after getting the detailed reports,” said a source.
According to him, Trinamul had launched the campaign and started ground work five months ahead of the bypolls, while the BJP did so only a month ago. “The three general secretaries will ascertain the real cause of the bypoll debacle,” the source said.
However, Ghosh and his BJP colleagues are still hopeful of recovery by launching door-to-door campaigns once the Citizenship Bill is placed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament. The bill seeks easier grant citizenship for minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.