Disappointed at Bengal’s ‘underrepresentation’ in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet, BJP’s state unit chief Dilip Ghosh said on Friday that he raised the issue with the party’s senior leaders in Delhi.
“Earlier Bengal had two MPs and both were ministers (of state). This time there are 18 MPs from Bengal and yet, the number of ministers (of state) has remained at two. I have raised the issue with Ramlal ji, the party’s general secretary in charge of organisation. He agreed that the number appeared on the lower side,” Ghosh said at a press conference in Kolkata after returning from Delhi.
Although Ghosh did not conceal that he was disappointed, he said that the state will get more prominence in the cabinet in the future.
“Last time (in 2014), Bengal MPs did not become ministers from the beginning. But this time, they have been co-opted in the cabinet right from the beginning. Wait and you will see more,” said Ghosh, who himself was elected to Lok Sabha from Midnapore.
Asansol MP, Babul Supriyo and Raiganj MP, Debasree Chaudhuri have been made ministers of state in Prime Minister Modi’s new cabinet of that was sworn in on Thursday. While Surpiyo was named MoS for environment, forest and climate change, Chaudhuri was made the junior minister of women and child development ministry.
Supriyo was a minister the last time, too. The other minister from Bengal in the last cabinet, S S Ahluwalia, has not been given a berth this time.
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“Wait a bit. The BJP is a national party that has to accommodate the needs and aspirations of all the states. I am sure that the party will value the sentiments of the people of Bengal,” said BJP’s Bengal election management committee convenor, Mukul Roy in Delhi.
Bengal was a focus state for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It won 18 seats in the state where its best show earlier was only two seats.
“Party president Amit Shah has publicly acknowledged that it is because of Bengal that BJP could cross the 300 mark (in the Lok Sabha). Bengal will not be deprived, the leaders have assured us,” remarked Ghosh.
May 31, 2019 19:54 IST
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