Notwithstanding its improved performance in West Bengal Assembly polls, infighting appears to have broken out in state BJP with a section of its leaders accusing the present dispensation of promoting “non-political” people and giving in to the whims of RSS.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, refuted the charge and said the organisational setup has been made keeping in mind the interests of the party.
Considered as a back-bencher in state politics, BJP had shot into limelight in 2014 Lok Sabha polls where it secured 17 per cent vote riding on the Modi wave. For the first time the BJP had won three seats in the last Assembly election in the state fighting on its own.
A state BJP leader, who did not want to to be named, said infighting and groupism within the party’s state unit have intensified after former state president Rahul Sinha handed over the charge to Dilip Ghosh, an RSS pracharak.
Ghosh was inducted in the party from RSS in early 2015 and took over the reins of the state unit in December 2015.
Several leaders, who used to hold important positions in the party during the tenure of Rahul Sinha, have either been sidelined or have been reduced to a non-entity within the party.
Many district presidents and organisational secretaries have also been removed in last six months. The disgruntled section of the state BJP blamed “over-interference” of the RSS in the party matters and promoting “non-political” elements who don’t have a sound political understanding either about the party or Bengal politics.
“All leaders who had held senior positions during the tenure of Rahul Sinha have been completely sidelined. Those who are non-political elements, who neither have a political background nor any understanding, are being promoted.
This will harm the prospects of the party in near future,” a senior state BJP leader told PTI on condition of anonymity.
BJP national secretary and observer Sidddharth Nath Singh told PTI, “It is not the question of sidelining anyone. Whenever a new president takes over, he prepares his team by combining both experienced and new leaders and that is what is being done in Bengal BJP.”
Another senior leader, a prominent face of the party who was relieved of his responsibilities, claimed that there was a growing tendency of RSS to control the entire decision- making process of the state BJP which was doing more damage to the party.
“There is a growing tendency among the RSS to control the decision making process of the party. RSS was always an integral part of BJP’s organization, but in the last few months it has grown to such a level that inefficient people are getting various posts in the party due to RSS backing,” he said. The leader also claimed there was a growing sense of disillusionment among the cadres.
“The cadres in various parts of the state, who had joined BJP after 2014 from CPI(M) and Congress hoping that BJP will be able to fight against TMC, are getting disillusioned with the party leadership and want to leave,” he said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, refuted the allegations and said he has proved his mettle as politician.
“Who are they? If they have guts why don’t they say it on my face. If I am an apolitical man, then how come I won three seats including my own? Those who are making these allegations are themselves greedy and understand nothing other than political posts and money.
“I have not sidelined anybody, I have given them new responsibilities. Do they expect to continue as general secretary, secretary and president forever?” Ghosh asked.
Apart from Ghosh, who won the Kharagpur Sadar seat by defeating veteran Congress leader Gyan Singh Sohanpal, BJP won Malda’s Baishnabnagar and Madarihat seats in North Bengal.
State BJP secretary and spokesperson Krishanu Mitra said it was the prerogative of the state president to prepare his own team.