BJP team to visit Bengal to review Dhupguri bypoll defeat

It is learned the central team will be headed by the party’s nation general secretary BL Santosh

File photo of a BJP supporter at a rally (photo: Getty Images)
File photo of a BJP supporter at a rally (photo: Getty Images)
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IANS

A central team of the BJP will visit West Bengal to review the reasons behind the defeat of the party in the byelections for the Dhupguri assembly constituency in Jalpaiguri district, the result of which was declared on Friday.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Nirmal Chandra Roy, a college professor, nosed ahead of the BJP's Tapasi Roy by about 4,000 votes, with Ishwar Chandra Roy of the CPI(M)-Congress alliance coming in at the third spot.

It is learned the BJP's central team will be headed by the party’s national general secretary BL Santosh, who will be holding a series of meetings with the party's state leadership on Sunday and Monday to review the reasons for the defeat by a narrow margin.

The party’s central leadership appears to be viewing the Dhupguri defeat quite seriously, since the BJP’s Bishnu Pada Roy was elected from this constituency in the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections. His sudden demise early this year necessitated the by-polls.

Sources said the defeat is being viewed more seriously by the central leadership in view of the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls, particularly since several constituencies in north Bengal are seen as BJP bastions.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the ruling TMC did not manage to win even one of the eight Lok Sabha constituencies from north Bengal. While BJP candidates won seven seats, Congress won the remaining one.

In the 2021 assembly polls, the BJP’s performance was much better in north Bengal compared to south Bengal.

"The margin of victory is not high enough that it cannot be repaired before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. But it needs greater coordination in leadership," said a member of the BJP’s state committee on condition of anonymity.

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