Putting to rest all speculations, CPI-M leader Shankar Ghosh, who had quit the party very recently, joined the BJP in Siliguri today.

Ghosh, the former Darjeeling district CPI-M secretariat member and member of the board of administrators at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC), revolted against the party and claimed there was no ‘democratic space’ and there was ‘authoritarianism’ in the party. The party later expelled him for alleged anti-party activities on 10 March, hours after he resigned. BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Darjeeling MP Raju Bista handed over the party flag to Ghosh here today.

“Many people are joining the BJP, inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Ghosh started his political journey from the SFI. He had worked in the SMC. Moreover, he has a transparent image,” Vijayvargiya said.

While there were also speculations that the BJP could field Ghosh in the Siliguri constituency for the upcoming Assembly elections, Vijayvargiya said the candidates for the elections would be selected following discussions at different levels of the party.

Ghosh said that he would expose the ‘unethical nexus’ in the party.

“Many young CPI-M activists are sacrificed for the sake of ideology. Which ideology are the party leaders talking about? Will we continue compromises for electoral gains? If we talk about party policy, is it a positive side that only one person will continue to contest and no change will be made? Therefore, I have decided to join the BJP and I believe my decision is right,” Ghosh said today.

He was most probably targeting Siliguri MLA and CPIM candidate for the polls Asok Bhattacharya. Ghosh was considered Bhattacharya’s trusted lieutenant.

Raising questions on the political line of the party and the ideological grounds, Ghosh said he did not like the CPI-M’s electoral alliance with the Congress and the Indian Secular Front (ISF).

Bhattacharya, on the other hand, said they should have understood that Ghosh would join other political party. “He has been expelled from the party. The chapter is closed now. It is wise to comment less about him,” the veteran leader said.

Meanwhile, some people, including leaders in Siliguri, termed the development as ‘Baam theke Ram’ (From Left to Ram/BJP).

Outgoing tourism minister and Trinamul Congress election candidate for the Dabgram-Fulbari constituency, Gautam Deb, said the move was Ghosh’s deviation from his ideology.

“There is marked difference between the Left and the BJP on ideological grounds. I will say it is a deviation from the ideology and principles. It is an unfortunate decision,” he said.