The BJP has decided to pit Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose against WB CM Mamata Banerjee in the forthcoming West Bengal Assembly polls. “BJP has decided that Chandra Kumar Bose will contest against Mamata Banerjee in the West Bengal assembly election. The central election committee of the party will decide on the names of other contestants for the state election,” Union Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani recently announced the candidature at a press conference, held in Delhi.
Interestingly, BJP has never been a frontrunner in Bengal, where ‘Didi’ (Mamata Banerjee) has a huge following. However, choosing the Netaji’s kin has created a significant buzz in the elections and BJP is counting on legend of Netaji to topple results.
Speaking on his anointment, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose said, “I am here to stay; I have not come here to fight the elections. You see somebody has to lose. I started my work for the people of West Bengal. I think West Bengal has been neglected for 39 years, by the Left for 35 years and there's just been a change in the name in the 2011 Assembly Elections. There has been no basic change in governance. Bengal has the right to good governance".
Importantly, he has always praised the Indian PM Modi’s governance, recently stating that “All Netaji admirers are very excited that Modi is being a true nationalist and is acknowledging the contribution of one of the foremost nationalists of India”. He has also lauded PM Modi for being the first Indian Prime Minister for naming the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and also for visiting the Indian National Army Memorial at Singapore.
On January 23rd, 2016, Mr. Chandra Kumar Bose joined the right-wing Indian political party, and also the ruling party - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as he was impressed with the Indian government declassifying 100 files related to his grandfather Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Lauding the political party Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grandson Chandra Kumar Bose said then that BJP is perhaps the only party whose ideology is similar to what the great freedom fighter had believed in.
However, the West Bengal Chief Minister and head of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee, is not faded by the opposition party’s stance and assured that her party would emerge victorious in the polls beginning on April 4, 2016.
The BJP has won 2 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal during the lok sabha elections in 2014, but lost all 289 seats that it contested in the 2011 Assembly elections. So whether Netaji’s kin can change the fate of BJP in West Bengal, one needs to wait and watch.