“False narratives will not work”

Kunal Ghosh, State General Secretary of Trinamul Congress talked on ED summons, allegations on party members and the business of fake news

“False narratives will not work”

Kunal Ghosh, State General Secretary of Trinamul Congress talked to The Statesman’s Chandrani Banerjee on the ED summons, allegations on party members and the business of fake news.

Q: There is an ED inquiry on the top leadership in your party, how do you look at it?

A: There is complete misuse of gov- ernment machinery for vested interest. Sadly, this is rampant. The raids and questioning by Enforcement Directorate(ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and every gov- ernment agency has been put to use to intimidate members of the oppo- sition. However, there is very little that will be achieved from all these exer- cises. The aim is not to untangle any embezzlement but to create an impression that the top leaders of the party are involved in unfair practices. Nothing would be achieved as inten- tions here are malafide. So whoever is into it will have to backtrack and adopt fair means. There is a way to deal with the opposition and this is not the correct way.


Q: How do you look at the probe being conducted by the Central government against lead- ers in the Opposition parties?

A: They are being selective about the probes and there is no denying this fact. This is a truth that we all know. I have mentioned earlier that there is a pattern to block the political oppo- nents that BJP usually indulges in.

Q: Do you think that fake news and social media has changed the face of political fights?

A:Yes. That is one aspect of it. There is another side to it, that is people no longer believe in debate or discus- sions; they just level allegations to deal with the political opponents. They now go to any extent in organiz- ing tweets on social media to malign a political figure for their own interest. So yes the face of the fight has changed completely. The virtual fights have been very targeted, planned and organised to defame and to settle scores with political opponents.

Q: How far is this going to affect the upcoming parliamen- tary elections?

A: There is very little scope of advan- tage to those resorting to such tactics. The electorate in West Bengal is satis- fied with the performance of the rul- ing party. There is substantial progress in education, health, infrastructure and other needs. The voters want their problems to be addressed. Trinamool Congress has been doing that for the past many years. Voters are getting electricity, assistance in building a roof over their heads and healthcare. Therefore when you get what you were promised or required then there is not much opposition that any gov- ernment would have to face. And we are doing that for each and every citi- zen in the state.

Q: So, you mean there is no dissatisfaction amongst the elec- torate in your state?

A: There will always be a dissatisfied sector in the given set up. Even in a small family, there will always be dis- agreement and dissatisfaction, but it always remains intact. So we agree that there will be disagreements and disappointments and dissatisfactions but the Trinamul is committed to the cause. We will identify the problem and step up to reach out to the dissat- isfied lot through available means. So this will help us to win elections.

Q: There is a good amount of confidence that you will win the upcoming elections. Why?

A: Simple reasons: We serve the peo- ple. Our door to door campaign ‘dwar e sorkar’ (Government at your doorstep) is so popular that the other states are replicating it. The work at the grass root level has made the gov- ernment popular. We need not do anything. We are working and that is our formula to win. We do not talk, we work. We do not trouble our political opponents to fight elections.

Q: So all the corruption charges against the party lead- ers are false?

A: Absolutely. Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) is trying to create a wrong narrative in West Bengal. They have little idea that this will work in the favour of Trinamul Congress. And this truth will come out in the open for everyone to see.

Q: And why are you confi- dent that this will work in favour of Trinamul Congress?

A: The simple reason is that Trinamul is connected to the grass root level. We know their problems. We are aware of their needs. This is the reason we are confident. BJP has come with all bigwigs to win Bengal but it did not happen. They have no connection with the grass root level.

Q: The general impression is that the BJP is very active at the state level with proper planning. What is the basis of your claim?

A: This is untrue. They are not strong, that is the reason they are blocking money to make things diffi- cult for Trinamul Congress. West Ben- gal was adjudged as number one in MGNERGA programme. Now that very state has become the worst. They have a pattern to block political oppo- nents. They trouble them by using government machinery but this tac- tic will not work in Bengal.

Q: Do you disagree that there could be dissatisfaction among the electorate against Trinamul?

A: I do not disagree that there will be people who may be dissatisfied with Trinamul Congress. However our policy is to identify the areas where Trinamul has not done so well. Then we work on the aspects that failed to create an impact. We constantly improve and work on it. But BJP con- ducts raids and maligns people using social media. This is the reason we will gain because we work on the issues that are causing dissatisfac- tion.

Q: Do you disagree that BJP may gain in the upcoming elec- tions?

A: No they may gain but that is the share that Left parties and Congress used to gain in the state. That per- centage is very low, about 5 per cent. So it is for them to realise that there is nothing much that they are gaining after putting everything at a stake.