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India Today Consulting Editor Jayanta Ghosal is a close Mamata Banerjee aide, here is his brief profile

On July 28, India Today Consulting Editor and senior journalist Jayanta Ghosal came to the rescue of the West Bengal government, especially the Chief Minister of the state, Mamata Banerjee while discussing the SSC Scam. During a debate on the channel where Rajdeep Sardesai was the host, he said, “I am completely convinced that Mamata Banerjee didn’t know (about the sea of ​​cash and SSC scam).”

He justified his claims by saying, “Because I tried to understand, I was in Kolkata yesterday, I talked to her. She was so upset, and she took the time to take action not because she was supporting Partha but because she was trying to understand what was happening.” Ghosal further claimed CM Banerjee did not know who SSC Scam accused Arpita Mukherjee was, even though there are photographs and videos that say otherwise. BJP Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala refuted her claims and showed him a video where CM Banerjee was praising Mukherjee for her “good work”.

Who is Jayanta Ghosal?

Born in 1962, Jayant Ghosal has worked as a political journalist for over four decades. His main association with him has been with Bengali Newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika, where he works as a journalist. Apart from that, he has written for India TV, Bartaman, ABP News and others. He is also serving as Consulting Editor for the India Today group.

Media liaison for WB government

Ghosal is believed to be a close aid of Trinamool Congress’s chief Mamata Banerjee in the media sector. In September 2020, he was appointed as Information & Development Officer (IDO) by the Government of West Bengal. His main job as IDO was liaising between the Government of West Bengal and the Central Government’s various ministries.

As per the order issued on September 18, 2020, his profile as liaison for the WB government would not disallow him from engaging in other pursuits. The order read, “While he will thus be at the disposal of the Government of West Bengal for liaison, coordination and information dissemination, his other pursuits (not disharmonious with public interest, as envisaged by the Government of West Bengal) are not disallowed by this engagement. He will keep the State Government informed about his such other pursuits, if any.”

He was provided with office space in the Principal Residential Commissioner’s office and Kolkata Information Centre. The perks included a monthly salary of Rs 1.5 lakh and air-travel expenditure on duty in the Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi sector.

It is noteworthy the post was specially created by the West Bengal government.

In a tweet, PTi journalist Soumyajit Majumder said, “West Bengal government has created a post of Information and Development Officer who will liaison with the Center on behalf of the state. Senior journalist Jayanta Ghoshal has been appointed to the post.”

Awarded by the WB govt

Furthermore, the West Bengal government also awarded him Banga Bhushan Award 2022 on July 25, 2022, just three days before he participated in the debate on India Today. Banga Bhushan Samman (Award) is a state award instituted by the government of West Bengal to honor the prominent personalities of different fields. The awards were started by the WB government in 2011.

Ghosal authored a book on CM Banerjee

Ghosal has been working closely with the West Bengal government, which is clear by the fact that he also authored a book on Mamata Banerjee titled “Mamata: Beyond 2021”, released in February 2022. The book revolves around Banerjee’s political career. According to the book’s description, Ghosal traveled across the state to understand which factors contributed to the TMC’s victory in the last Assembly Elections.

Book cover of “Mamata: Beyond 2021” by Jayanta Ghosal. Source: Amazon

It read, “There was a massive gap in the BJP’s understanding of Bengali identity, which Mamata was able to exploit. An ‘overdose’ of central intervention, ranging from paramilitary forces to intelligence agencies to targeting key TMC leaders, added to the BJP’s disconnect with voters. Increasingly, the state felt the divide between New Delhi and Bengal grow.” The book also explored the questions, including if Banerjee considered herself to be a suitable candidate for the post of Prime Minister.

According to Outlook, Ghosal has deep access to the BJP-RSS at the highest levels. He wrote, “Many BJP and RSS leaders now believe underestimating Mamata in 2024 — as Narendra Modi and Amit Shah did in 2021 — would be a blunder. So Mamata Banerjee will have to take many more innovative steps to make herself a widely-acceptable leader who can be an alternative to Narendra Modi. Far from being inactive on this front, she is preparing quietly. Her mission from her ‘New Delhi 2024’ will be worth watching.”

He further pointed out that to portray herself as a national leader, she would try to shed the pro-Muslim image that had been created during her tenure as Chief Minister of West Bengal. Furthermore, if the regional parties do well in the 2024 elections, he would surpass the image of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as a national leader in the eyes of associated parties, especially Congress.

Jayant Ghosal’s debates, articles and op-eds mostly attempt to portray Mamata Banerjee as a beloved leader with a high possibility of performing well at the national level. However, her portrayal of her differs in the voters’ minds, especially because of the poor performance of TMC in different states, including Goa and continuous attacks on BJP workers in the state of West Bengal.

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