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Monday, November 28, 2022

Former football player Mehtab Hossain inducted in BJP West Bengal; quits in less than 24 hours

While TMC and Communists in West Bengal continue to attack the BJP as a ‘communal’ political party that is anti-Muslim, the national party is desperately trying to dispel this image. In order to adopt a more ‘secular’ image, the party inducted former football player Mehtab Hossain recently. He was received by senior state leader of the party, Joy Prakash Majumder, and welcomed into the national political party by state BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday, July 21st. The former East Bengal captain was handed the BJP flag amid chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

That Mehtab Hossain had decided to join the saffron party did raise quite a few eyebrows. However, the newly-inducted member asserted he had always wanted to do something for the betterment of his people, and was hence joining BJP. “I have been trying to do something for the people for a long time. But later I realized that politics is the best platform to do something good for the common people. That’s why I embarked upon this field,” said Hossain.

Denouncing the claims of communalism made against the BJP, Mehtab Hossain dubbed the national party as a secular political formation through which he aspires to serve the common civilians in the days ahead.

However, it proved to be a major embarrassment for the party when the freshly-inducted Mehtab Hossain quit the BJP in less than a day’s time and announced his disassociation with the party through a lengthy Facebook post.

In the Bengali post, Mehtab writes that those for whose wellbeing he had decided to join the political party were hurt by his decision to associate himself with the BJP. “My wife Moumita and children Zidan and Zavi didn’t support my decision. I could not see the faces of my family. It pained me a lot,” writes Hossain. His well-wishers do not want to see him as a political figure and due to this he had decided to step out of the BJP, he claimed.

Commenting on the former party member’s sudden U-turn, a senior BJP leader asserted, “Mehtab’s joining BJP angered the TMC. He was threatened with dire consequences. Mamata Banerjee does not realize that her Muslim support base has gone away.” Though many BJP members echo this leader’s thoughts, Hossain rendered their claims unfounded by stating, “No one is forcing me to change the decision. I am on my own removing myself from politics. From today, I am not part of any politics. And I apologize for my decision.”

This is not the first time BJP Bengal, anxious to gain a secular edge, inducted Muslim members, who later proved to be a liability for the party. BJP supporters had voiced their discontentment and disapproval when Monirul Islam, the notorious TMC MLA from Labpur, and TMC’s Birbhum district youth wing general secretary Mohd. Asif Iqbal were roped in by the saffronists in May 2019.  The MLA was infamous throughout Bengal for harassing hapless Hindus in his area. BJP-supporting netizens fumed at the BJP’s insensitive decision of inducting Islam into the party.

Despite joining the party in the presence of eminent state leaders like Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya, Monirul Islam was refused by the Birbhum district unit of the BJP. Reminding the party bigwigs how Islam had engineered brutal attacks on innocent BJP supporters before the Lok Sabha polls, Birbhum BJP chief Ramkrishna Roy had announced, “We took a resolution at a meeting last week after Monirul had joined the BJP. We will not accept him as a member of the BJP.”

BJP leaders and supporters were divided over Islam’s induction in the party; sensing the heat, he had also offered to resign from the party but senior party leader Mukul Roy (himself an ex-Mamata confidante) held him back.

The party leaders must not let any short-term political goal (which will anyway backfire in other seats) stray them away from the path of Dharma which is their only appeal among the Hindus in Bengal who are desperately looking at the party as their savior. Having suffered the Congress, followed by 34 years of communism, and 9 years of extreme minority-appeasement by the TMC, the Hindus in Bengal do not fancy a ‘secular’ political party to govern them anymore.

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