Retired IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, who once enjoyed close proximity to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, joined the BJP on Monday (4 February) in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Ghosh, a management graduate from Harvard, was a part of a UN peacekeeping mission in strife-torn Kosovo and Bosnia. She came to Bengal in 2011 and quickly gained the confidence of Mamata.
Ghosh, who was posted as the West Midnapore superintendent of police in 2012 was transferred to a largely inconsequential post as Commandant of West Bengal Armed Police’s 3rd Battalion late last month (18 December). She resigned from the service two days later.
Ghosh is widely credited for her role in decimating the Maoists. Under her supervision, a top Maoist leader Koteswara Rao was eliminated in a gun-battle. Several other prominent Maoists were forced to give up arms and rehabilitated. Three Maoist affected districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia have experienced relative peace from Maoist violence.
During the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and later during the 2016 Assembly polls, Ghosh came under the Election Commission's (EC) scanner and was transferred by the EC for allegedly intimidating poll officers and overstepping her jurisdiction.
Ghosh’s fallout with Mamata is attributed to her closeness to Mukul Roy. A former aide of Mamata, Roy is now a prominent BJP leader of the state.
The Sabang assembly by polls is said to be the reason for a complete breakdown in relationship between Mamata and Ghosh. The BJP candidate put up a stunning performance by polling over 20 per cent vote share a dramatic increase from the paltry 2.6 per cent it won in 2016 polls.
Ghosh was accused of allowing ‘free and fair’ polling by local TMC functionaries and helping the rise of the BJP at the behest of Mukul Roy.
Though the Trinamool Congress won with a huge margin of over 67,000 votes and BJP came third, the latter increased its vote share by 17 per cent and that was enough to keep tongues wagging.
After joining BJP, Ghosh, without naming the Kolkata Police chief, asked how a top cop could sit on a dharna with a political leader. “This clearly depicted that this person has biased attitude and is working for a particular political party,” she said.
She also hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who sat on dharna by saying “this is a satyagraha and I’ll continue till the country is saved”.
She added that, “She (Mamata) should have held the satyagraha when lakhs of people lost their money in the ponzi scams and committed suicide. Today she is doing it to protect a police commissioner. This is not satyagraha, it is a political move to block the CBI probe.”
Ghosh also accused Banerjee of trying to block the CBI probe into the chit fund cases.
“The chit fund mafias do not operate alone. They operate with the help of some people in the administration. Banerjee is hailing Rajeev Kumar as one of the best officers in the world. Then why the SIT led by him in Bengal could not arrest any of the actual culprits in the Saradha scam?” Ghosh asked.
Ghosh also faces an arrest warrant in connection with an extortion case registered at Daspur police station in West Midnapore district, following her resignation.
Her husband M A V Raju was also booked in the case of alleged extortion and illegal exchange of banned notes for gold.
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