Kolkata: Pressured by the BJP central leadership, which doesn’t want the opposition to rake up the “Bengal unit’s hand in child trafficking” in the midst of the UP elections, state party president Dilip Ghosh compromised on his stubborn “innocenttill-proven-guilty” stand. He ordered the removal of Juhi Chowdhury, accused in a baby racket case, from her party post.
The Bengal BJP on Wednesday asked Juhi to “relinquish” the general secretary’s post of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha, and also dropped her father, Rabindra Narayan Chowdhury, from the state committee. Later, in a formal statement–where it made its reluctance to take the decision apparent–the state BJP said that it was up to Juhi to face the law and its consequences. Most importantly , the statement read, “Political persons meet many people and organisations. It is not possible for us to know who is good, what is bad and which is rotten.”
However, Juhi seems to have the favour of BJP Rajya Sabha MP and Bengal Mahila Morcha president Roopa Ganguly. “Those who are trying to put such detestable charges against me and a young girl, like Juhi, will have to pay for it,” she said. “The home has been running for a long time. How come the state was not aware of it?” The flip-flop was palpable since morning. State BJP president Ghosh told reporters at the assembly that the party would help Juhi in her legal battle, ruling out any action against her as she was “innocent till proved guilty”. But hours later, apparently prodded by Delhi, Ghosh changed his tack: “Based on media reports and the fact that she and her father had been to Delhi without informing the party , we have decided to remove both from their party positions. Their continuation could be detrimental to the party .” But Ghosh insisted Juhi and her father would remain party members till court pronounced them guilty.
The first indication of a disciplinary action came from the party’s national secretary and Bengal BJP minder Kailash Vijayvargiya, whose has also been dragged into the trafficking row.”I have no trust in the police probe. Owing to a conspiracy, our leaders are being falsely implicated and arrested,” Vijayvargiya said. “We want a central agency to probe the matter.” He, howe ver, asserted the party would take action if any of its members was involved in the racket.
Vijayvargiya’s name was involved after Chandana Chakraborty, who ran the NGO under scanner, claimed she, accompanied Juhi and her father to Delhi on February 2. “I did not talk to anyone, Juhi did. She might have talked to (BJP leaders) Roopa Ganguly and Kailash Vijayvargiya. I was in a separate room,” Chakraborty had claimed. According to a diary seized, CID confirmed, Juhi did have a meeting with Vijayvargiya.
The state BJP communique warned that with the help of a section of the media, the state was indulging in unsubstantiated character assassination of its leadership.