Bengal BJP president dissolves all district youth morcha committees; differences brewing
The announcement of dissolution of committees was made on state BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s personal letterhead and not party’s.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 07:35 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh on Friday dissolved all the district committees of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the party’s youth front. The committees were formed over the past five weeks. Ghosh empowered the BJP’s district presidents to take over BJYM’s functioning till further decisions are taken.
BJP leaders, who did not want to be quoted, said Ghosh made the announcement following severe differences with Saumitra Khan, president of the state BJYM, over appointment of some office bearers.
Khan was the sitting Trinamool Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha member from Bishnupur constituency in Bankura district when he joined the BJP before the 2019 polls. Khan retained the seat. He was made president of the state BJYM about two months ago.
“Due to some reasons, till any further announcements, all district presidents of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and respective district committees are being dissolved from today,” said the organizational announcement signed by Ghosh.
“Till further announcements their duties will be taken up by the respective district presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party,” the notice said.
The district committees of the BJYM were formed recently. Ghosh’s decision came as a shock to both BJYM and BJP leaders. Many were surprised that he made the announcement on his personal letterhead as Lok Sabha member from Midnapore and not on the party’s letterhead.
Interestingly, on Thursday, Shankudeb Panda, also a former TMC leader, was made state vice-president of the BJYM by Khan. Two others, Digvijay Singh and Avishek Singhania were also made vice-presidents and four persons, including actor Rimjhim Mitra, were made secretaries.
Neither Ghosh nor Khan was available for comment. Their phones were unreachable till 10 pm on Friday. BJP leaders said on condition of anonymity that a cold war is on in the state BJP over induction of new leaders in the BJYM.
The differences cropped up in the first week of September after Khan announced the names of members in BJYM’s new state committee. Senior party leaders said Ghosh declared the list null and void and wanted changes to be made.
Khan had to publish a new list in which Prakash Das, a youth leader known to be close to Ghosh, was named as the Morcha general secretary.
“A section of central leaders of the BJP wanted Shankudeb Panda, who is known to be close to national vice-president Mukul Roy, to be the Morcha general secretary,” a state BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.
He said that BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who looks after the organization in Bengal, also wanted Panda’s induction. He had a discussion with Ghosh but the latter was not willing to change his decision.
Anupam Hazra, the former TMC Lok Sabha MP from Bolpur, who defected to the BJP in March 2019 and was defeated by TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty in Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency, was made a vice-president in the Yuva Morcha in September. This decision too was changed at Ghosh’s behest and Hazra was recently made a national secretary of the BJP in place of Rahul Sinha.