Recent defeat in bypolls of Asansol Lok Sabha and Ballygunge Assembly constituency has widened the gap in BJP’s West Bengal unit.
Several district level office-bearers resigned from their post, while senior leaders raised questions against state leaders.
The BJP has lost two one Lok Sabha and one Assembly constituency to ruling Mamata Banerjee’s TMC. The BJP had won Asansol Lok Sabha twice in 2014 and 2019.
Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha defeated BJP’s Agnimitra Paul from Asansol by over three lakh votes.
Former minister in the Narendra Modi government and TMC candidate Babul Supriyo won from Ballygunge Assembly constituency. The BJP came a distant third after behind the left candidate.
After declaration of bypolls, over a dozen district-level functionaries have resigned. Among the prominent who resigned was Murshidabad MLA Gouri Shankar Ghosh from the post of state secretary.
A senior West Bengal BJP leader said that giving too much importance to TMC turncoat and sidelining the loyal worker who built the party over years are the main reasons for difference among cadre and current state leadership.
“With each passing day, the difference between state leadership and party loyalists is increasing. State leadership failed to act to keep everyone together. Central leadership must intervene to control the damage caused to the party after last year’s Assembly polls,
Lok Sabha member from Bishnupur Saumitra Khan also reportedly hit out at the state leadership for the defeat and suggested change to strongly take on TMC. “Khan suggested that the BJP leadership must take corrective steps, if the party wants to fight TMC. He also suggested that incompetent and inexperienced leaders must be replaced with a person with political maturity otherwise it will be difficult to defeat TMC,” another West Bengal BJP senior leader said.
There is resentment brewing in the BJP cadre since last year’s Assembly polls from ticket distribution to giving prominence to leaders who joined the party from TMC.
“Workers and leaders, who build the party brick by brick, are feeling neglected from the way TMC turncoats are given importance. Party should not forget their hard work and give due respect to them,” another leader said.