He is in charge of Ben­gal BJP, which is fac­tion-rid­den and is feel­ing di­rec­tion-less.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

At the time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is aim­ing for an am­bi­tious tar­get of win­ning at least 22 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from West Ben­gal, BJP work­ers in the state are miss­ing their state in-charge Kailash Vi­jay­vargiya who is cur­rently busy with the Mad­hya Pradesh Assem­bly elec­tions slated to be held later this month.

Vi­jay­vargiya, who is cur­rently the sit­ting MLA from the Mhow con­stituency in Mad­hya Pradesh, is busy cam­paign­ing for the elec­tions in the state. This time, how­ever, he is not con­test­ing the Assem­bly elec­tions in Mad­hya Pradesh, but his son Akash Vi­jay­vargiya is a can­di­date from the In­dore 3 con­stituency where Vi­jay­vargiya is spend­ing his time to cam­paign for his son.

A BJP func­tionary from West Ben­gal said, “Kailashji is cam­paign­ing for Mad­hya Pradesh elec­tions as he be­longs to that state and he has been quite busy there. This time, his son is also one of the can­di­dates; so he would be cam­paign­ing even for him. Ben­gal needs much more at­ten­tion from the Cen­tre as the lead­er­ship here is marred with fac­tion­al­ism. We will not be able to achieve the tar­get of seats given by na­tional pres­i­dent Amit Shah if greater at­ten­tion is not paid to the state.”

Ac­cord­ing to sources in the BJP, Kailash Vi­jay­vargiya, who is not con­test­ing on an MLA ticket this time, is likely to con­test the 2019 Lok Sab- ha elec­tions from In­dore in Mad­hya Pradesh, re­plac­ing Lok Sabha Speaker Su­mi­tra Ma­ha­jan.

An­other se­nior BJP func­tionary from Ben­gal told this cor­re­spon­dent on the con­di­tion of anonymity: “The BJP in Ben­gal is go­ing to take out a rathy­a­tra which would be one of the big­gest cam­paigns of the party in the state. At a time when preparations and co­or­di­na­tion are at their peak, the state in-charge is miss­ing from the ground. He would be­come more busy dur­ing the Lok Sabha elec­tions since he could con­test elec­tions from In­dore, hav­ing lit­tle time for West Ben­gal. The BJP has a fer­tile ground in the state; only if it is cul­ti­vated prop­erly would the re­sults be good.”

Kailash Vi­jay­vargiya was ap­pointed as the state in­charge for West Ben­gal in July 2015, re­plac­ing Sid­dharth Nath Singh with the hope that the party would be able to make a huge im­pact in the 2016 Assem­bly elec­tions held in the state, given his suc­cess in Haryana where he was the state in-charge prior to his ap­point­ment in Ben­gal.

How­ever, the party could not make any mas­sive dent into the Tri­namool Con­gress vote bank in the state in the last three years. Even when the BJP has po­si­tioned it­self as the num­ber two party in the state, the dif­fer­ence in the num­ber of votes be­tween the rul­ing TMC and BJP still re­mains large.

Arvind Menon, who was ap­pointed co-ob­server for West Ben­gal ear­lier this year, al­most seems to be ab­sent from the Ben­gal BJP po­lit­i­cal sce­nario.

Most BJP work­ers from Ben­gal do not even know that Menon has been ap­pointed to the post. In­ci­den­tally, Menon and Kailash Vi­jay­vargiya are known to be not in good terms with each other, ever since Menon de­clared that he did not want Vi­jay­vargiya to be­come the Chief Min­is­ter of Mad­hya Pradesh some years ago.

As a re­sult of this, many party lead­ers from Ben- gal are ex­press­ing their con­cern about the lack of co­or­di­na­tion among the state-in-charges as well as “deep rooted” fac­tion­al­ism within the state unit of the BJP which is caus­ing fur­ther dam­age to the party in the state.

“The new co-ob­server is hardly known to any­body in the state and ev­ery­one in the party knows about Kailashji and Menon’s dif­fer­ences. In such a sit­u­a­tion, it is dif­fi­cult for the two of them to work to­gether. Fac­tion­al­ism is also a huge prob­lem within the BJP in the state and the Cen­tre has failed to ad­dress this is­sue. Un­less we have some­body strong from the Cen­tre to ad­dress th­ese is­sues, the prospects seem very poor for the party,” added the se­nior party func­tionary quoted ear­lier. The launch of my book The Con­tenders, Who Will Lead In­dia To­mor­row, which pro­files 16 Gen­Next politi­cians, was a power packed one, with Akhilesh Ya­dav, Ram Mad­hav, Sachin Pi­lot, Omar Ab­dul­lah and Jayant Chaud­hary on stage for a panel dis­cus­sion mod­er­ated by Vir Sanghvi. The au­di­ence too was a power packed one, with politi­cians cut­ting across party lines present in­clud­ing Naresh Gu­jral, Pa­van Varma, Di­nesh Trivedi, Sush­mita Dev and Man­ish Te­wari. Here are some ex­cerpts from the panel dis­cus­sion:


Devo­tees hold up clothes and um­brel­las to re­ceive rice as of­fer­ings be­ing dis­trib­uted by a tem­ple au­thor­ity on the oc­ca­sion of the An­nakut fes­ti­val in Kolkata, on Thurs­day.

Priya Sah­gal with Jayant Chaud­hary, Sachin Pi­lot, Akhilesh Ya­dav, Omar Ab­dul­lah and Ram Mad­hav, at the book launch.

Kailash Vi­jay­vargiya

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