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BJP’s new Bengal unit chief Sukanto Majumder has taken charge at a time when the party is trying to learn from the defeat of the recent assembly elections as well as deal with departures of big names like Babul Supriyo.

Speaking to News18 hours after he was booked for protesting in front of CM Mamata Banerjee’s residence, Majumder says the FIR is a “medal” for him. Majumder also weighs in on his party colleague and Union minister John Barla’s demand for north Bengal statehood, and the upcoming bypolls.

Edited excerpts:

Why do you think you have been chosen for this post?

I am not the right person to answer this question. Senior leaders like JP Nadda have given me this responsibility. I am a small karyakarta (functionary). I am happy that they have given me this responsibility and I will deliver my best performance under their guidance.

You are from north Bengal. Union minister and Alipurduar MP John Barla has raised his voice for bifurcation. What is your take on that?

I am BJP state president for entire Bengal, not just north Bengal. The party line at the state and central level is clear. We want to see Bengal as envisaged by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and his colleagues. Bengal cannot be divided.

There are reasons why people of north Bengal believe they have been deprived of development for last 70 years. As MP from the area, it is the responsibility of John Barla to present the sentiment of that region to our leadership.

What you said contradicts the demand by John Barla…

I have already told you that (statehood for north Bengal) is the sentiment of the people of this region. They have been deprived. Development has taken place in and around Kolkata. It is the duty of the MP of a region to represent the voice of the people. He (Barla) has done that only.

If BJP comes to power, how will you reconcile this demand?

Development is the solution. When we come to power, we will decentralise development. There will be holistic development.

What’s your take on recent election results? You came down to 71 seats from 77.

We are analysing the results. We have held discussions at length. Obviously, there’s a mistake somewhere. Otherwise, we would have won. If there was no mistake, why would we lose?

TMC leader and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has said the BJP will cease to exist…

That’s the mindset of Abhishek Banerjee. They believe they can buy people off. We are ideological cadre-based party. They don’t understand this because they don’t have an ideology. The BJP’s soul is its workers. We have an ideology that cannot be destroyed. Even respected Nehru ji, Indira ji and Rajiv ji tried to finish our ideology and failed. I don’t think Abhishek Banerjee and Mamata Banerjee are more powerful than them.

How will you stop exodus of leaders from the BJP?

We will not share our planning with the media. People who believe in our ideology will stay. Our workers are our strength.

You sat on dharna in front of the CM’s residence for the late BJP leader Manas Saha. A case has been registered against you. Saha’s daughter has said in the FIR that his death was the result of hospital negligence.

The case against me is my medal from Mamata Banerjee’s police and administration. We will also lodge a case against police officers present there. We are working for restoration of democracy.

How do you see the BJP doing in bypolls?

We know the people will vote for us, and we will win.

Your predecessor Dilip Ghosh had his own style and was always caught in controversy. Will you follow his line?

I will follow the Bharatiya Janata Party line.

Why was the TMC not allowed in Tripura?

The Tripura unit will answer. Abhishek Banerjee should go to each and every state under BJP to find out how well-behaved the administration is. They should learn from us.

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