With an eye on assembly polls, BJP West Bengal unit has thoroughly revamped its party organisation inducting new faces for the top posts to place itself as a credible opposition.
“We have revamped the organisation with an eye on 2016 assembly polls. We have chalked out a plan to achieve our goal. The people are with us and it was proved in recent law violation programmes across the state,” said West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, who assumed the post last month.
Within weeks of taking over, Ghosh, a RSS pracharak, cracked the whip and removed several office bearers and district presidents. The change appears to have infused a new lease of energy with BJP cadres hitting the streets in various parts of the state as part of law-violation programme.
According to party insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity, Ghosh has full support of RSS and has thrown its full strength behind him after placing its men in key positions.
Actress-turned-politician Rupa Ganguly, who reportedly shared a strained relationship with for former BJP state president Rahul Sinha, was made the chief of state BJP women’s wing.
With the new leadership cracking the whip, several top leaders of state BJP like general secretary Ashim Sarkar, media convenor Ritesh Tiwari have lost their berths. Others to go includes the party’s youth wing president Amitava Roy and several former bureaucrats who joined BJP before the 2014 general election did not find any berth in the state unit.
Although Tiwari retained his post seat as secretary, Roy was made a new one. The changes were made in the backdrop of growing dissent in the rank and file over outsiders, who had joined the party in Bengal after 2014 being given important positions at the expense of old-timers.
After a good show in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when it garnered about 18 percent vote share. BJP appears to have lost its steam in Bengal politics within a year due to lack of leadership, infighting and its alleged understanding with the ruling Trinamool Congress.
“Yes, it is true that the euphoria created after our”Yes, it is true that the euphoria created after our performance in last Lok Sabha polls, has taken a beating in the last few months. It is due to several confusions and misconceptions spread by the opposition about our alleged change of stand on Saradha scam, bonhomie between the state and the Centre,” a senior BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity.
“But we are confident of fighting those vested propaganda and surge ahead,” he added. BJP’s fortune started to slip with the party’s defeat in the by-poll to Bongaon Lok Sabha in February 2015. TMC retained the seat and Left Front managed to secure the second position.
According to a senior state BJP leader, the notion that the central BJP leadership is going soft on Saradha scam as it has entered into a deal with TMC in lieu of its support in Rajya Sabha has further eroded the BJP’s credibility.
“The new president and his team has the full support of RSS, unlike Rahul Sinha. So we are hopeful of fighting these misconceptions and Dilip Ghosh also has a free hand to take several decisions,” a newly appointed office bearer said.
CPI(M) and TMC have mocked the changes in BJP and said it would not bear any results. “Lot of things have been said about the growth of BJP. But after one year you won’t find BJP in any of the elections. Because there has been a match fixing between TMC and BJP,” CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim said. TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the change of leadership in BJP won’t bear any results as there is no place for a “communal party in Bengal.