Kailash Vijayvargiya, a close aide of BJP president Amit Shah and seen as a competent organisation man, was on Friday appointed as the new in-charge of the party in West Bengal, replacing Siddharth Nath Singh.
Singh, who was made the BJP in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, will now be a co-incharge in Bengal and assist a team led by Vijayvargiya and comprising Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP Joint General Secretary (Organisation) Shiv Prakash. The party seems to be working hard to mend fences with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Vijayvargiya’s appointment is being seen as a step in this direction.
When contacted, Vijayvargiya told The Indian Express: “Since Singh is the secretary and I am the general secretary of the party, I will naturally work like his elder brother in the state. But we will have to work together as I will need all his experience of working in Bengal.”
Asked whether Singh’s wings have been clipped and whether he alone was not enough to handle affairs of Bengal, Vijayvargiya said: “We are focussing on all the states, which will go to polls and will work with more strength.”
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He, however, refused to comment on why Singh was given additional responsibility of Andhra Pradesh. “You will have to ask the decision makers about this,” said Vijayvargiya.
When contacted, Singh maintained that the decision taken by the central leadership only showed that it was more determined to win Bengal and make it ‘Trinamool-free’ in the 2016 Assembly polls.
“Now, to assist me in Bengal, I have Nirmala Sitharaman, Shiv Prakash and Kailash Vijayvargiya. It shows the fight is on with Trinamool. Otherwise, so many central leaders will not be brought to Bengal. A few more might join us next year. The focus is to do well in Bengal,” Singh said.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha said that the BJP, in a bid to focus more on Bengal for the Assembly polls, has brought in more central leaders to lead the party in the state.
“It will help us to fight the terror unleashed by Trinamool in a better way. There is no question of anyone’s wing being clipped. All senior leaders will be looking into different aspects so that no stone is left unturned while preparing for the elections,” he added.
Sources, however, said that unhappy with the party’s performance in the recent civic elections and Assembly bypolls, the central leadership of BJP has decided make changes in the party.