Amit Shah to chart strategy, stem rumblings in Bengal unit at Delhi meet
The former BJP president, who had set the target to oust the Trinamool government in 2021 after his party won 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, will chart out the strategies to be followed by the West Bengal unit in the run-up to the coming assembly polls.Updated: Sep 30, 2020, 21:35 IST
Amid reports of differences over recent elevation of former TMC leaders in the BJP hierarchy, the Bengal leaders have been called to Delhi to attend a key meet to be helmed by home minister Amit Shah.
The former BJP president, who had set the target to oust the Trinamool government in 2021 after his party won 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, will chart out the strategies to be followed by the West Bengal unit in the run-up to the coming assembly polls.
Bengal leaders called to Delhi are state president Dilip Ghosh, national vice-president Mukul Roy and, quite significantly, Rahul Sinha, who expressed his grievance in public after being removed from the post of national secretary during the reshuffle on Saturday.
On being replaced by Anupam Hazra, a much younger leader who left the TMC and joined the BJP in January 2019, Sinha rued the fact that after a service of 40 years to the party he was removed to make way for TMC leaders.
In the same reshuffle, Roy, who had been a BJP national executive member since 2017, when he left the TMC, was made national vice-president.
“The meeting has been called to discuss an overall strategy to be followed across Bengal. Differences that have emerged over elevation of former TMC leaders in the BJP hierarchy will also be ironed out,” a senior state BJP leader aware of the developments said on condition of anonymity.
“No constituency-specific policy will be discussed at this meeting. Only core issues will be discussed on Thursday,” he told HT.
There is a speculation in the BJP state unit that Roy may be entrusted with the task of overseeing the Bengal unit’s election machinery since the BJP performed well in the 2018 panchayat and 2019 Lok Sabha election when he was convenor of the state election committee. He was able to bring over many TMC leaders to the BJP.
Sinha’s journey to Delhi was marked by an agitation by his supporters at the Kolkata airport on Wednesday afternoon. More than a hundred men and women blocked his path outside the entrance to the airport, asking him not to take the flight. “We do not want the BJP to turn into a B-team of the TMC,” the BJP workers shouted.
“I am going to Delhi as I have been invited. Let me attend the meeting and return. I will talk to you,” Sinha told his supporters.
Other than Shah, BJP central leaders to attend the meeting are Arvind Menon, Shivprakash, Kailash Vijayvargiya and party president JP Nadda.
Menon, Shivprakash and Vijayvargiya are tasked with overseeing the Bengal organisation on behalf of the central leadership.