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Gap between veterans and new entrants is of concern to BJP Bengal ahead of elections | India News


CALCUTTA: With the assembly elections only three weeks away, the BJP, in the midst of an all-out effort to oust Mamata Banerjee from power in Bengal, is also struggling to keep its house in order, as veterans and New entrants engage in disputes over multiple issues, including ticket distribution.
The saffron party, which had experienced unprecedented growth in terms of percentage of votes and mass base in recent years, had opened its doors wide for the leaders of other parties, as part of its electoral strategy, but that did not was well received with many high-level leaders, who had once faced rookies from rival fields, BJP sources said.
According to a senior BJP official, the strategy had initially reaped dividends for the saffron field, which labeled the TMC a “sinking ship” but eventually led to infighting within the organization and diluted the “fight against corruption. “of the party, as several new entrants were found to have corruption charges against them.
The party recently corrected course and halted mass induction, but the damage was done, and the leadership now has to face the “Herculean task” of identifying suitable candidates from 8,000 candidates for the state’s 294 electoral districts, the leader said. principal. saying.
“We never thought that the induction of leaders from other parties could lead to such a situation. Every day we hear reports of infighting between the veterans and the newcomers. We believe that after the announcement of the names (of the contenders), the discontent within of the camp grow more, “said the BJP leader.
However, BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh insisted that it was necessary to broaden the party’s base at this time.
“The BJP is a big family. When your family grows up, those incidents happen. If we don’t get people out of other teams, how will we grow? That said, everyone has to abide by the party rules and regulations. No one is above it. of the party, “Ghosh said.
Elections in Bengal, set to be a tough contest between the TMC and the BJP, will take place in eight phases, starting with the 30-seat vote on March 27. Votes will be counted on May 2.
According to sources in the saffron field, many state leaders and the RSS, the ideological father of the BJP, have expressed dissatisfaction with the induction of certain leaders of other parties.
Thousands of activists from rival parties joined the saffron field in recent months during the ‘jogdan mela’ (incorporation program) in various districts of the state.
As many as 28 MLAs, including 19 from TMC, and a sitting deputy from the ruling field have joined the BJP in recent months. Notable among them are heavyweight politicians and former TMC leaders Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee, Sovan Chatterjee and Jitendra Tiwari.
Discontent in the saffron field, which had been brewing for a while, first appeared in September last year, when veteran leader Rahul Sinha was replaced by Anupam Hazra, a former TMC MP, as national secretary.
Sinha spoke openly about the “injustice that was inflicted on her to accommodate TMC leaders.”
Union Minister Babul Supriyo and other BJP leaders, including Secretary General Sayantan Basu and Head of State Mahila Morcha Agnimitra Paul, had opposed Tiwari’s joining the party in December.
The BJP state leadership had issued show-of-cause notices to Basu and Paul for speaking out on the issue in public. Tiwari joined the saffron fold earlier this week.
Several BJP veterans across the state had opposed the addition of former state minister Syamaprasad Mukherjee, former TMC MP Dasharath Tirkey, and rival camp leaders Sukra Munda and Mihir Goswami.
In some pockets, BJP supporters have also put up posters saying that local leaders would rather endorse an independent candidate than endorse “TMC parachute leaders.”
“Veterans are concerned that new TMC entrants will take center stage and that their efforts to strengthen the match will be in vain. They fear that they will not get due recognition and that tickets will slip out of hand,” said another. BJP state leader.
“In East Midnapore, there are 16 seats. Adhikari could pitch for his loyalists who have followed in his footsteps and joined the BJP. The same could happen in Howrah, where Rajib Banerjee wields considerable influence.
“If you accommodate them, the veterans will be angry; if not, the loyalists will be enraged. It is a precarious situation,” said the BJP leader.
Political analysts believe that the lack of strong leadership and over-reliance on central leadership could put the Saffron party at a disadvantage.
“Once the list of candidates is published, there will be massive infighting. If the BJP fails to control this situation, they will be the Achilles heels for the saffron field,” said political analyst Biswanath Chakraborty.
Echoing him, another political expert, Suman Bhattacharya, said that the induction of “tainted leaders” by the TMC has diluted the main electoral table of the BJP: the “fight against corruption”.
“The BJP, which had been filing corruption accusations against TMC leaders, ended up welcoming some of them to the party. This has put a question mark on the credibility of the BJP as an alternative to TMC,” he added.
The TMC leadership – on the receiving end of the exodus – maintained that only “rotten elements” have left the party to join the BJP.
“The saffron camp has become a TMC garbage can. It is a good journey for us,” said TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.
The opposition CPM asserted that the changes only continue to show that the BJP and TMC are “two sides of the same coin.”
Making the claims lightly, the BJP National Secretary General Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the BJP is the largest party in the country and knows well how to tackle these “minor problems”.
“The people of Bengal have made the decision to overthrow the TMC. These cases (of infighting) are minor setbacks, and we know how to deal with them. It will not be a long-term problem,” he said.

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