A rift erupted in West Bengal BJP over the formation of a new state committee in view of the next year’s Assembly polls in the state. Several party leaders have raised questions over the inclusion of leaders, who have joined the party from TMC and CPM, into the state committee. Some even expressed their displeasure after several new leaders were made heads of various morchas.
In a recent reshuffle, the state unit of BJP made changes in the women, youth, SC and ST wings. While fashion designer-turned-politician Agnimitra Paul was made the Mahila Morcha president, party MP Soumitra Khan became the Yuva Morcha chief. Khan had joined the BJP from TMC ahead of last year’s Lok Sabha polls.
Party leader Dulal Bor, who joined the BJP from Congress, was appointed as the SC Morcha president, while party MP Khagen Murmu, who had joined from CPM, was made the ST Morcha head. The new changes have irked the old timers in the party who accused the state party leadership of siding with the new leaders.
“These are basically outsiders who have recently joined the BJP. The state leadership is overlooking the sacrifices made by party’s old timers who have supported the party in thick and thin. The new leaders are opportunists who fell out with their former party leadership and switched to party,” said a senior party leader on condition of anonymity.
Besides this, the promotion of former TMC leader and now a BJP MP, Arjun Singh, as the vice-president of the state unit and inclusion of former TMC leader Sabyasachi Dutta into the state committee have not gone down well with senior party leaders.
“We cannot afford to put a lot of faith on outsiders. This will send a wrong signal to party’s rank and file who have made a lot of sacrifices for the party. The state party leadership must give priority to old timers,” said another BJP leader.
Reacting to this, Medinipur MP and West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “The party cannot satisfy everyone regarding their opinion on who will be included in the state committee. It is a collective decision. Immediately after the formation of a new committee, this kind of reaction from leaders is expected. But with time, they will fall in line.”
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