BJP cautions Bengal leaders against 'discussing internal moves' with outsiders
- The leaders said in view of the upcoming assembly elections, nobody is henceforth allowed to discuss crucial organisational decisions, policy matters with outsiders.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership on Sunday warned its Bengal leaders against making careless statements in public and discussing internal decisions with outsiders in person or over phone, leaders who attended a closed-door meeting of the extended core committee of the state unit in Kolkata said on condition of anonymity.
The leaders said in view of the upcoming assembly elections, nobody is henceforth allowed to discuss crucial organisational decisions, policy matters, poll-related decisions etc. with outsiders or journalists.
The leaders were also asked to be extremely careful about attempts to conduct sting operation on them by political parties, media or commercial agencies.
“The orders came straight from central leaders in Delhi,” one of the leaders who attended the meeting told HT on Sunday night but did not want to be named. “Though this was not specifically mentioned but the rules were sounded mainly for those who left the Trinamool Congress and other parties and joined the BJP. Old BJP leaders are aware of the party’s strict discipline,” he added.
Talking to HT late on Sunday night, state BJP chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, "The restriction on discussing the party's internal matters in public is in place for a long time. The leaders were told to abide by it."
Saumitra Khan, state BJP youth front president and Lok Sabha member from Bankura district who left the TMC in 2019, was pulled up for saying at a recent rally that BJP state president Dilip Ghosh would be the chief minister if the party comes to power in Bengal. The video went viral.
Khan and other leaders were told that nobody should make any statement on the party’s chief ministerial candidate as the matter will be decided and announced only by central leaders such as national president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.
“I cannot share what was discussed at the meeting,” Khan told a television channel in the evening but did not deny that he was warned.
The meeting continued for around three hours and organisational matters and recent decisions taken by the central leadership were discussed as well, said those who attended.
“We have been told not to share any details of the meeting with the media. Only the state BJP chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya is authorized to brief the media,” said one of the frontal organization leaders.
Nadda’s proposed visit to the state on February 5 was also discussed. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come to Bengal to address rallies after the election schedule is announced,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said after the meeting.
“We will organise roadshows, to be named parivartan yatra (journey for change), very soon to strengthen the organization in the districts. There is the weakness in some polling booth areas. This will be taken care of,” said Ghosh.
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- The opposition leader is also scheduled to meet senior TMC minister Firhad Hakim and hold talks about the upcoming Bengal polls.
- TMC and BJP have dismissed the Left rally as insignificant. While the TMC claims CM Mamata Banerjee will return to power for the third time, BJP says the elections are bi-polar and there is no space for the Left.
- The BJP lodged a complaint in the Phoolbagan police station. Senior BJP leaders of the state rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
- The TMC asked the EC why the polls could not be held in fewer phases.
- She alleged that the poll panel scheduled the election dates keeping in mind the BJP’s demands.
- The CBI earlier questioned Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee in the case.
- Besides rallies, the chief minister’s itinerary could include religious stopovers at important places of worship.
- "Modi government only makes false promises, has done nothing to bring down fuel prices," PTI quoted the Bengal chief minister as saying.