To rein in the state BJP leadership and end growing infighting, the party’s central leadership has made direct intervention and made several organisational changes.
A day after appointing RSS pracharak Amitava Chakravorty the new general secretary (organisation) of the state unit, sources said the party had asked its national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya to spend more time in Madhya Pradesh than Bengal, where he is the central co-observer.
In his place, the BJP’s national joint-general secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash, who looks after its affairs in West Bengal, has been asked to spend more time in the state.
Sources in the BJP said the move was aimed at sending a message to two factions in the state unit. “The party has no intention to tolerate infighting anymore and does not want to lose the momentum it gained from 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The growing rift between Dilip Ghosh camp and Mukul Roy camp was hurting the party’s prospects for 2021 state Assembly polls. With these changes, the central leadership has taken matters of its West Bengal unit in its own hand. The state unit of the party from now onwards will be looked after by central leaders who will supervise the leaders and chalk out strategies,” said a senior BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.
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Following Mukul Roy’s induction into the party in 2017, the two factions emerged. The rift between them widened after the Lok Sabha polls as Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers and leaders started defecting to the saffron outfit. While the party’s old-timers sided with state president Dilip Ghosh, newcomers were embraced by Roy, who had Vijayvargiya’s support.
The infighting increased after the formation of a new state committee last month in which newcomers were given crucial posts. Meanwhile, Mukul Roy was made the national vice-president. He replaced national secretary Rahul Sinha, a party veteran. The situation became more complicated after Ghosh recently disbanded all district committees of the state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), and dismissed the presidents of the committees. Although MP and BJYM state chief Saumitra Khan buried the hatchet with Ghosh on the occasion of Bijoya Dashami, the central leadership decided to step in and end the infighting.
Decision-making goes to Delhi
Following the organisational changes, the state BJP unit from now on will function at the direction of its central leaders. The central leadership took control of the state unit to end infighting and put up a fight against the ruling TMC in the 2021 polls. While the decisions and strategies will be formulated by central leaders, its execution will depend on state leaders and workers. On the flip side, the move is likely to allow the TMC to sharpen its attacks by painting the BJP as a party run by outsiders.
In a statement, the party on Wednesday announced that Chakravorty would replace Subrato Chattopadhyay as general secretary (organisation). Chattopadhyay, a close aide of Dilip Ghosh, had been serving in the post since 2014. According to sources, the state BJP chief vehemently opposed the move.
Chakravorty was a powerful student leader and served as the state secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Later, he became a RSS pracharak. In 2016, he joined the BJP and former national president Amit Shah appointed him the state joint general secretary for Odisha. In 2019, BJP national president JP Nadda appointed him the state joint general secretary in West Bengal.
By clipping Vijayvargiya’s wings the central leadership also sent a message to Mukul Roy’s camp, indicating that it has to patch things up with Ghosh’s faction and put up a united face in the Assembly polls. “Both camps need to understand the party’s vision for Bengal and work towards its success. There is no room for any internal fight which will dent our chances of winning the election,” said the BJP leader.
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