Midnapore MP and state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was confined to his bungalow in Kharagpur town on Monday after rival parties complained to the district administration about his presence in the Assembly seat on the day of the voting.
Ghosh, who had vacated the Kharagpur Assembly seat after he was elected to Lok Sabha this May, has been camping in the city for the last six days campaigning for the party candidate, Premchandra Jha, and planning the party’s strategy.
“I personally didn’t give any permission to Dilip Ghosh to stay here (in Kharagpur). He cannot roam in the area where the voting for the bypoll is on because he is not voter of this constituency,” Sub-Divisional Officer Vaibhab Chowdhury said.
Confined to his bungalow and accompanied by gun-toting security personnel, Ghosh spent the day keeping a track of the voting by speaking to party workers and leaders through the phone. “I have no tension. We will win all the three Assembly seats in the bypoll. We will not break the law, but if the TMC workers attack us, we will give an appropriate answer,” Ghosh told The Indian Express as watered plants in his garden.
From early morning, a large number of youths started gathering at his house. After 10 am, they dispersed on their motorbikes to different parts of the urban constituency. “Our army of motorbikes did a splendid job. They patrolled the whole day and chased TMC cadres who were trying to rig booths,” a BJP leader said. Even the BJP candidate frequented Ghosh’s residence every now and then, seeking his advice.
TMC candidate Pradip Sarkar also exuded confidence of winning the seat. “Our arithmetic is simple. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress and CPM votes were transferred to BJP, leading to the latter’s win. And in 2016 (Assembly elections), TMC votes were transferred to Congress. This time, CPM-Congress votebank is intact. So, TMC will win,” he said.
When Congress candidate Chittaranjan Mondol, a teacher known to residents as masterji, was told about the TMC’s arithmetic, he grinned and said: “If our vote bank is intact, no power can defeat us. So, if TMC’s arithmetic is correct, then we will win the vote.”