A month after Dilip Ghosh claimed that his tenure as a State BJP President will end in 2022 and not before that – party’s national president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Monday appointed Lok Sabha MP Sukanta Majumdar as its new party president in West Bengal.
For the last couple of weeks, names of a few senior party leaders including Sukanta Majumdar and Debashree Chaudhuri had been doing rounds as the next party president in Bengal.
Majumdar was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019 from Balurghat constituency in South Dinajpur district in West Bengal as a member of the BJP. Then, he defeated TMC MP Arpita Ghosh with a margin of 33,293 votes. Majumdar secured 5,39,317 votes as opposed to Ghosh's 5,06,024 votes.
When contacted, Sukanta Majumdar said, "I would like to thank all my senior party leaders for reposing faith in me as a new BJP president in West Bengal. The party has given me this responsibility and I will try my best to fulfil the expectation of my party leaders. I had a word with Dilip da (Dilip Ghosh) and I will be looking for his guidance in taking the party forward in Bengal.”
When asked about the challenges (amid TMC’s rising strength in the state after the 2021 Assembly Poll results) and the main objective before him to steer the party forward, he said, "The challenges are there and I will face them. My priority will be to strengthen the booths and to stand beside my booth/party workers. I am sure we will secure more seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha as compared to the 2019 general election. I have my own style of working and it will be visible soon."
In the context of the rift in the state BJP, Majumdar said a rift was inevitable in a big family like the BJP. "I am not concerned about it as long as we are united ideologically. I believe those who are connected with the BJP ideologically will not leave and join another party," he said.
Commenting on Babul Supriyo's decision to join the TMC, he said that he had nothing to say on those who had left. "Babul da is senior to me and I think it would have been better if he would have stayed back with us in the party," he said.
He attempted to clear the BJP's stand on the "division" of Bengal. "There are some MPs who highlighted the grievances of people in North Bengal. But I would like to clarify that the BJP doesn't believe in the division of Bengal," he said.
Majumdar's elevation in the party came as a surprise to many. But those who have been with the Bengal BJP for decades, know how he fulfilled the aspiration of Debi Das Chaudhuri – father of former Minister of State Deboshree Chaudhuri – in serving the nation as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member since his childhood.
Majumdar is a relative of Deboshree Chaudhuri and when he used to study in Khadimpur High School, Balurghat in South Dinajpur, Deboshree’s father had groomed him as a Sangh worker.
His father Sushanta Kumar Majumdar was a government employee and his mother Nibedita Majumdar was a primary school teacher. It is believed that they were not associated with the RSS.
"He was inspired towards RSS by my father. He is my cousin and I hope under his leadership BJP Bengal will rise further. I personally think that he is capable enough to take the party towards a significant goal," Deboshree Chaudhuri said.
Sukanta is a grassroot leader with a strong RSS imprint which helped the saffron brigade in increasing their vote share in the bordering areas in West Bengal.
His mentor Debi Das Chaudhuri (Deboshree’s father), was a high school teacher and president of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) from 1967 to 1980 in Balurghat in undivided Dinajpur district (later it was separated into South and North Dinajpur). The Bharatiya Jan Sangh was the political arm of the RSS.
During his stint as the president, an Emergency was declared in India in 1975 and several leaders of the BJS were arrested. Though it was difficult for BJS leaders to work during the Congress and Left rule in Bengal, Debashree and her family struggled a lot to serve the party.
This inspired Sukanta towards Sangh and later as a BJP worker.
He has done his PhD in Botany from the University of North Bengal and had also done his MSc in 2005. Born on December 29, 1979, Majumdar is the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Committee on Petitions from September 2019 onwards. He has a special interest in quizzing and football.
When contacted, outgoing former BJP president Dilip Ghosh (who was made the national vice president of the party), said, "I wholeheartedly welcome Sukanta ji as our new state BJP president. I wish him all the best."
When asked how challenging it was for him as a state BJP president, he said, "I became the state president in 2015 and then BJP was not visible in the state's politics. In 2019, everybody saw our performance and in 2021, we emerged as an opposition party in Bengal. I will continue to work as a dedicated soldier of the party."