BJP to restructure Bengal unit after Gujarat polls
‘The party’s Central leadership is miffed with the state unit for failing to mobilise mass support on the ground’.
With an eye on the upcoming Panchayat elections and bypolls to some Parliamentary and Legislative Assembly seats in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership at the Centre is likely to overhaul the entire state unit of the West Bengal BJP after the Gujarat Assembly elections this year, according to highly placed sources within the party. On Saturday, senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders from North 24 Parganas district, including Madhusudan Mondal and Debdas Mondal, along with 300 party workers who have a strong mass base in the region, joined the BJP at the state party office. The leaders were inducted into the BJP in the presence of BJP general secretary and West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya. The TMC leaders who joined on Saturday were supporters of Mukul Roy, who has recently joined the BJP.
The party’s central leadership is keeping a close watch on politics in Bengal. It is not satisfied with the way the state unit of the party has not been able to do much on the ground in the last two years, according to sources.
The state unit of the BJP would also be re-organised, keeping in mind the general elections of 2019, where the party is expecting to bring about some exceptional results from the state. The central BJP leadership and national party president Amit Shah want the party to win the maximum number of seats from the state (at least 50%) in the 2019 parliamentary elections. The BJP currently has only one seat from the state in the Lower House, while the total number of seats from the state is 42.
A senior BJP leader told The Sunday Guardian: “The central leadership of the BJP is committed towards Bengal and an overhaul of the entire state unit is likely to happen anytime after the Gujarat elections. The party is not satisfied with the way the BJP has been performing in the state over the last two years and it is miffed with the state unit and its leadership for not being able to mobilise mass support on the ground.”
The party is also focusing on increasing its presence across all booths in the state, and it would achieve this through its new team that it is going to build.
A party functionary said: “The party is looking for a strong face, with a huge mass appeal, who has the capability to take on the Mamata Banerjee government strongly. The restructuring of the party will happen not only at most of the district levels, but also at the top level in the state unit. The BJP is strongly convinced that the party can make strong inroads into the state through a strong leadership at the state level.”
However, with the induction of Mukul Roy into the saffron party earlier this month, the party hopes to gain supporters in the state. Roy, according to sources, has been given the charge to build political strategies for the BJP in the state to take on the Trinamool Congress government.
Currently, the party is also witnessing severe factionalism within its cadre at the state level, and this has been brought to the notice of the Central leadership and even to the level of the national party president Amit Shah.
According to sources, the party is going to take into cognisance several of these issues when it deliberates and forms the new re-structured state unit of the party for West Bengal.
A taxi driver covers his face as a municipal worker fumigates a market to prevent the spread of dengue fever and other mosquitoborne diseases in Kolkata, on Monday.