Bharati Ghosh, BJP's West Bengal contestant from Debra, has a robust bank balance along with a rather long rap sheet

Bharati Ghosh, BJP's West Bengal contestant from Debra, has a robust bank balance along with a rather long rap sheet
Bharati Ghosh - Twitter
  • BJP’s Bharati Ghosh is contesting from West Bengal's Debra Assembly constituency.
  • Ghosh, a former IPS officer with 23 years in service, has 19 criminal charges against her.
  • She is contesting against Trinamool Congress candidate Humayun Kabir, who is also a former IPS officer.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) state vice president, Bharati Ghosh who is contesting from West Bengal's Debra Assembly constituency, has an impressive bank balance with declared assets worth ₹19 crore making her the wealthiest politician contesting from West Bengal (WB).

But, she also has a lofty list of criminal charges against her that amount to 19 in total (53 serious Indian Penal Code [IPC] charges and 56 other IPC charges) and no conviction. Of these, she has 12 charges under IPC Section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 5 charges under IPC Section-307 (related to attempt to murder), 4 charges under IPC Section-354 (related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 2 charges under IPC Section-468 (related to forgery for the purpose of cheating), among many others.

One of the 19 female candidates from WB out of 171, Ghosh is a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who was in service from January 1994 to Dec 2017. A decorated police officer, Ghosh was the police chief for over six years in West Midnapore. During this time she was instrumental in capturing Maoist leaders like Koteswar Rao and containing Maoism in general. However, she retired two days after she was transferred by Mamata Banerjee to a comparatively less alluring post as the commandant of a battalion of the State Armed Police in Barrackpore on December 26, 2017.

She has also worked in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police and had a brief stint at the United Nations under various capacities and had won six medals during her time there. Her impressive educational background includes a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Jadavpur University, bachelor’s in law from Burdwan University, and has studied at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.

Ghosh eventually fell out of her close association with Mamata Banerjee and joined the BJP in 2019. Ghosh contested the Lok Sabha elections from the Ghatal constituency the same year. At the time, there was a rather infamous incident that occurred when in response to Ghosh's bold statement that she will bring goons from Uttar Pradesh to "drag TMC men out, beat them up like dogs,” she was accosted by an angry TMC mob a few weeks later that led her to scale the walls of a temple and seek refuge at the Keshpur police station. She apparently made this statement on hearing TMC workers in Anandapur village (in Medinipur) were hindering people from voting in the Lok Sabha elections.


In a separate incident, two days before polling began in Ghatal, her car was stopped and the police seized ₹1,13,815 in cash that according to Trinamool was perhaps going to be used to incentivise the people to vote for her. Ghosh, however, lost that election to Trinamool Congress candidate Deepak Adhikari (alias Dev) by a margin of 107,973 votes.

Earlier this month, Ghosh moved the Supreme Court to seek a stay of an arrest warrant against her and to quash the FIRs against her in connection with the 2019 Lok Sabha poll violence case for alleged voluntary causing hurt, wrongful restraint and attempt to murder. The Supreme Court granted the stay till the conclusion of the West Bengal Assembly Elections. She maintains that these are all "false" cases being used as a tool to prevent her from pursuing her political career. In total, there were 693 poll violence incidents and 11 deaths, in the state, during the 2019 general elections.

This year, Ghosh is contesting against Trinamool Congress candidate Humayun Kabir, who is also a former IPS officer. However, unlike Ghosh, he does not have any active legal cases against him. The former police commissioner of Chandernagore, Kabir, joined TMC in February, this year. Kabir was the one who ordered the arrest of three BJP members who were trying to incite disquiet by raising the slogan "Goli Maaro..." during a rally held by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, in January 2021. Miffed BJP members accused Kabir of being partisan to the Trinamool Congress because his wife, Anindita Das, is also a member of the party. However, Kabir resigned from his post a few days after the incident and joined the Trinamool Congress in February 2021.

Ghosh may have had an impressive career trajectory but it is yet to be seen whether the burden of the criminal charges against her will dampen her political aspirations.

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