Amit Shah's claims absurd & baseless, says former BJP state president
Kolkata: Satyabrata Mookherjee, former state president of BJP and former Minister of State felt that party's national president Amit Shah's claim that the party will get 23 seats is "absurd and without any basis."
Mookherjee also expressed his displeasure over the virtual sidelining of senior party leaders like Lal Krishna Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi.
"Shah's tall claim that BJP will get 23 seats in Bengal is absurd and baseless," he said while giving an interview to a vernacular television channel on Monday.
A statement by Mookherjee just two weeks before the election in Krishnanagar Lok Sabha seat from where he was elected in 1999 has put the state unit of BJP in a spot of bother.
In the four-corner-fight in Krishnagar, Mohua Moitra of the Trinamool Congress is fighting against Kalyan Chaubey of BJP, Shantanu Jha of CPI(M) and Intaj Ali Shah of Congress.
Mookherjee was the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers between 2000 and 2002 and later Minister of State for Commerce and Industry between 2002 and 2003. He was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's ministry.
Krishnanagar was the red bastion since 1971 when Renu Pada Das was elected four times till 1989. His successor Ajay Mukherjee of CPI(M) was elected from the seats four times between 1989-99.
Mookherjee defeated him in 1999. He developed contacts with the people and Krishnanagar became a BJP stronghold. Mookherjee was the state president of the party in 2008 and was replaced by Rahul Sinha in 2009.
Asked whether he is taking part in the campaign for Chaubey, Mookherjee said the party has not asked him to take part in the campaign.
"It seems that the party thought that seniors cannot give anything anymore so it has kept them out of campaign," he said.
Political experts said Mookherjee's staying away from the campaign will affect the party's poll prospects in Krishnanagar.
"He has his own pocket votes and workers and these workers which include a large number of local lawyers who had worked for him will not take part in the election. This will put BJP into trouble," they felt.