Opinion: Resentment Brewing In Bengal BJP Against Functioning Of Central Leadership

First Locket Chatterjee, a BJP MP, and now Mihir Goswami, a BJP MLA, have refused the security provided to them by the central government. Their point is while the workers on the ground are being beaten and even killed, they cannot be so insensitive as to have protection for them

 This decision of theirs is just an example of the level of resentment brewing in Bengal BJP against the party’s central leadership. It is also manifested in the state party distancing itself from the recent central government initiatives like CBI arresting Mamata Banerjee’s ministers or Home Ministry recalling the chief secretary of the state even after allowing him an extension for three months. On these issues, all the leaders questioned by the media, including state party president Dilip Ghosh, have the same refrain: “This does not concern the Bengal party and we have nothing to say on it.”

The majority of state leaders feel that the North Indian style of function of the party was at the root of its debacle in the recent assembly election. When the North Indian leaders did not impose themselves on Bengal, during Lok Sabha elections, the party was leading in 121 assembly segments out of total 294. Two years later, the party has managed to secure just 77 seats in the assembly. The Bengal leaders believe they have paid the price of being overrun by the central leadership.

Tathagata Roy, the former governor of Tripura and Meghalaya, has openly questioned various decisions taken by the central leadership like opening the floodgate for TMC MLAs to join and contest the election (almost all of them have been defeated) and giving tickets to a flurry of actors and actresses. All this was done at the insistence of Kailash Vijayvargiya, the Bengal in-charge of the party who was working in tandem with Mukul Roy.

Among all those who joined BJP at the last moment, Suvendu Adhikari is the glorious exception for the party as he has defeated Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram. He is now the leader of the opposition in the assembly. Many of those who joined BJP from TMC and got defeated in the polls are now trying to go back to TMC again. The grapevine has it that Mukul Roy’s son Subhanshu Roy is one of them. The state leaders feel it was only expected. “They came, tainted the clean image of the party, and they will now leave,” says a mid-level leader close to Dilip Ghosh.

Suvendu Adhikari (file image)

The state party is going to hold a meeting on how to protect its workers many of whom, they claim, have fled their homes. They will also discuss their future course of action in the meeting. Most of the leaders have resolved to function independently and not allow central party leaders to interfere much. Very significantly, just like Mamata Banerjee the state BJP leaders too are saying now, off the record, ‘they do not know Bengal and are not acceptable to the people of Bengal’

(The author Diptendra Raychaudhuri is a senior journalist based in Kolkata. He has a wide range of experience in covering West Bengal politics and has authored several books)

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