Updated: April 20, 2022 10:59:07 am
In a bid to quell growing voices of dissent within the party, the BJP’s West Bengal unit is set to launch several protest rallies across the state in May, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also likely to embark on a three-day visit to the state, his first since the last year’s Assembly polls, beginning on May 4 in a bid to resolve the conflict.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting with party leaders, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said, “The Union Home Minister is likely to visit the state on May 4. During his three-day visit, he will hold meetings with the state party leadership and attend some official programmes in both north and south Bengal. Though nothing has been finalised, he is expected to visit BSF cantonment areas in north Bengal. We may also hold a programme in Kolkata, where he will meet party leaders and hold organisational meetings in south Bengal. Besides, he is also likely to hold a meeting with party MLAs and MPs from the state.”
“The visit is important since this will be Shah’s first tour to the state after the last year’s Assembly elections,” said Majumdar, adding: “He is likely to give us a direction and help us prepare a roadmap for the panchayat elections next year.”
Shah’s visit also assumes significance as it is taking place against the backdrop of the infighting in the party and the exodus of leaders from the state committee. Party MP Saumitra Khan, national secretary Anupam Hazra and several others have raised a banner of revolt against the state leadership following the party’s defeat in the recent bypolls in Asansol and Ballygunge. Also, several MLAs, including Gouri Sankar Ghosh, left the state committee after differences with the state BJP leadership.
Best of Express Premium
In an attempt to contain the growing discontent among its leaders, the party has lined up several programmes in May, including a mega rally in Kolkata over the alleged atrocities on BJP workers, leaders and their family members by the Trinamool Congress.
The rallies will coincide with the first anniversary of the widespread post-poll violence in West Bengal that took place after the declaration of the Assembly election results in May last year.
“On May 2, we will hold a mega rally in Kolkata with our workers, who were made victims of the post-poll violence. On May 3, we will reach out to the people of Bengal, seeking their help for our affected cadres. On May 7, all party leaders, including MPs and MLAs, will visit the families of those party workers who were killed in the post-poll violence and distribute clothes and money. On May 10, a few violence-hit family members will visit Kolkata and after an agitation programme (Satyagraha), the members will call on the Governor,” divulged Majumdar.
On May 8, 9 and 11, the party will hold rallies across the state against the alleged violence by the state government. “Ever since the TMC came to power on May 2, post-poll violence and other atrocities continued unabated. We call it a Black Day. To protest the killings and violence, we will hold rallies in every block across the state,” he said.
According to party sources, a BJP delegation, along with the kin of the party workers killed in the violence, is likely to meet President Ramnath Kovind in Delhi on April 29.
Majumdar, meanwhile, appealed to the party leaders not to speak in public or to the media if they have any grievances against the state leadership. “The media is not the state president of the BJP, but Sukanta Majumdar is. I will tell our leaders to reach out to me or our national president JP Nadda or the national general secretary (organisation) if they have any complaints against anyone. They should not speak in public about it and share their views on social media,” he said.
BJP MP Locket Chatterjee, meanwhile, said that she “wasn’t aware of the closed-door meeting that took place today (Tuesday) at the state BJP headquarters. I was not informed about the meeting. So, I could not attend it”.
Majumdar, however, said that all party leaders and workers have specific duties and responsibilities, and thus, they were called accordingly. “Every leader is not supposed to attend the meeting. Only some leaders were asked to attend,” he added.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️