Fight outside BJP Bengal office as state chief is gheraoed

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Kolkata | Published: March 25, 2015 7:45:35 AM

Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state leadership decided to act tough against dissent, dissidents and loyal workers...

Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state leadership decided to act tough against dissent, dissidents and loyal workers fought outside the party office while efforts were being made to free state unit president Rahul Sinha who was gheraoed on Tuesday.

The state leadership was forced to summon workers from the party’s Howrah unit to free Sinha who was gheraoed in his office by dissident party workers aggrieved over ticket distribution.

The workers arrived when the dissident workers were preparing to organise a sit-in demonstration outside the party office.

“What would we have done, if some party workers behave in an unruly way? So party workers from Howrah came and freed us. Whatever the party workers of Howrah unit has done is right. I feel even if they had beaten someone, then they had done the right thing,” Sinha said.

Earlier, the state leadership warned against dissident activity and infighting, saying indiscipline would not be tolerated and would be dealt with sternly.

“We will not tolerate dissent or indiscipline in the party. Actually when the ticket distribution took place, a few people were unhappy as they didn’t get tickets. We thought they will shout slogans and the matter will die down. We allowed them to show their anger but now the matter has gone too far,” Sinha told a press conference amid a din of slogans raised against him.

Sinha said the party would prefer not to field any candidate in some places, rather than surrender to indiscipline within the party.

Like the past few days, there were protests outside the party state headquarters by a large number of party workers who shouted slogans against Sinha and the state leadership.

The demonstrators alleged that a section of state leaders were taking money in exchange for tickets.

Sinha accused the CPI-M and the TMC of fuelling dissent and protests against the party leadership in the districts and the city.

Meanwhile, the BJP state leadership accepted the resignation of the party’s Birbhum district president Dudh Kumar Mondal, who put in his papers accusing a section of party leadership of being involved in corruption over ticket distribution.

BJP national secretary and in-charge of Bengal, Siddharth Nath Singh, tried to downplay the protests, saying the increase in the number of ticket aspirants proved that the BJP was growing in Bengal.

“There is nothing uncommon in the protests. These things have happened in UP, Bihar and Delhi too over distribution of ticket. These things will die down once the nominations are filed and fullfledged campaigning starts,” Singh told PTI.

Mondal, Singh said, had indulged in anti-party activity in Birbhum and was trying a “oneupmanship” game within the party in the district.

On Mondal’s resignation, Sinha said, “We have decided to accept his resignation and will ask him to furnish document and proof of his allegation that the party’s state leadership was indulged in corruption.

“I will take all the responsibility if it (allegation) is proved,” he said.

The protestors burnt party flags, tore posters of Rahul Sinha. Posters of Sinha were also set on fire in the districts of Malda, Murshidabad and Siliguri yesterday.

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