After the most fiercely fought elections of West Bengal get concluded on May 2, the state shall get a new chief minister because, in all probability, Mamata Banerjee seems to be losing and is not going to be re-elected. However, on the side of the BJP, there are multiple contenders. So, we at TFI, bring the readers a list of the probable contenders from BJP in the order of the highest probability to get the coveted seat.
1. Dilip Ghosh
Dilip Ghosh, the West Bengal state president of BJP since 2015 (re-elected in 2020), is the most probable candidate for the CM chair. In his tenure of six years as the state president, Ghosh turned the BJP from a marginal player to a major opponent of TMC.
BJP’s strategy in West Bengal has revolved around mainstreaming the lower castes who have been kept away from power corridors for decades in the name of class politics. Ghosh comes from Sadgop (OBC) caste and from the Jangal Mahal region, where the party swept all seats in the 2019 general election.
Since the early 2010s, RSS has been tirelessly working in West Bengal, especially in the OBC and ST-dominated areas. And Ghosh, being a member of the RSS, had the most critical role in the mainstreaming of the Sangh in the Western region of the state.
Given the fact that Ghosh comes from the right caste and right region, and he delivered exceptional results for BJP in the 2016 assembly election as well the 2019 general election, he has the highest probability of getting appointed as the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
2. Mukul Roy
The BJP leader who is the toughest competitor of Ghosh is Mukul Roy. The 66-year-old leader is among the most experienced BJP candidates with decades of tenure in the parties (Congress and TMC) and administration (in UPA government as the Minister of Railways). In 2017, Roy joined BJP after decades of collaboration with Mamata Banerjee (he was one of the founding members of the TMC in 1998) in TMC as well as Congress.
Mukul Roy played a crucial role in bringing the senior TMC leaders who were disgruntled with the party into BJP. His experience in the politics of West Bengal and his role in the rise of the BJP are the major factors that go in his favour.
3. Swapan Dasgupta
Swapan Dasgupta, who was nominated to Rajya Sabha in 2016, but resigned a few weeks ago to contest the 2021 assembly election, is also among the people who are in the race to become the Chief Minister. Given the intellectual culture of West Bengal which Dasgupta embodies, and his experience in public policy (the state desperately needs good policies for economic and social growth), he has a good claim to the CM chair.
4. Suvendu Adhikari
Suvendu Adhikari is probably the most suitable Chief Ministerial candidate but given the fact that he jumped to BJP just before the election, he can be ruled out by the cadre of the party. In Assam, the BJP did not give the CM chair to Himanta Biswa Sarma despite the fact that it is quite evident that he is practically running the government and is the most popular face of the party in the state. Adhikari is like Sarma of West Bengal. However, if the luck is with him and he is not ruled out as he was in the opposition previously, he can surely become the next CM of West Bengal.
5. Locket Chatterjee
Locket Chatterjee, the General Secretary of BJP West Bengal who was previously the President of BJP Mahila Morcha, West Bengal, is also among the probable candidates for the CM chair. Given the fact that women voters are the major focus of the party, she has a good claim over the chair.
Come May 2, if BJP wins the elections in West Bengal which seems likely, the party will have a number of contenders for the CM chair with the most prominent being the above five. Only time shall tell if the party will give the CM chair to the above contenders or will bring in a new face.