Tussle between old guard, ‘turncoats’ intensifies in Bengal BJP

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Giving too much importance and prominence to turncoats in the party is making the old guard in the West Bengal BJP unhappy. The fight between the old guard and newcomers from other parties is turning out to be a major concern for the BJP in the state, which intensified after last year’s assembly polls.

The ideologically committed cadre, who fought and built the party in West Bengal, are feeling ignored and have started maintaining a distance from the current leadership. Seniors in the West Bengal BJP feel that too much importance and prominence to the newcomers has made the old cadre unhappy.

“There is a common and general feeling among the original cadres that the leadership is least concerned about them. It is disheartening the way they are now treated after all the hard work of decades to build the party in the state,” a senior said.

Another veteran leader explained that a lot of prominence was given to the TMC turncoats during the assembly polls and it is continuing till date.

“Many TMC turncoats who joined the BJP before the assembly polls left us including a few MLAs and heavyweight Mukul Roy. Workers and leaders, who built the party are feeling neglected by the way the turncoats are given importance. The party should not forget the way they fought the violent cadre of the ruling party over the years and are still fighting,” he said.

West Bengal BJP leaders claimed that there is complete confusion in the state unit and there is no clarity or uniformity on issues.

“Disconnect of old cadres is one of the reasons for the BJP candidate’s defeat in the recent Asansol Lok Sabha by-poll. The cadre who did ‘maar-kaat’, feeling ignored, did not come out and cast their vote. One has to take responsibility and bring everyone together,” a West Bengal BJP leader said.

Many feel that giving too much importance to the TMC turncoats and sidelining the loyal workers is becoming one of the main reasons for differences between the cadres and the state leadership. They suggest that the central leadership must intervene to take control of the situation.

“With each passing day the differences between the state leadership and party loyalists is increasing. The state leadership failed to act to keep everyone together. The Central leadership must intervene to control the damage caused to the party in the last one year after the assembly polls,” he said.

Commenting on the functioning of the West Bengal BJP, a leader said: “Even after six months of taking over as the new president of the state unit Dr Sukanta Majumdar has failed to form all the committees at the state, district and block level. He has to take the decisions and responsibility.”

When asked about the differences between the old guard and the newcomers, BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh told IANS that those who fought and led the movement to build the party must be given importance.

“One has to understand the situation in Bengal is different from other states. The ruling party cadres in Bengal attacked the opposition workers. Many BJP leaders and workers fought against the violent attacks of the ruling party and built the party. They are feeling left out. The party has to think and take them into confidence to strengthen the fight against Mamata Banerjee,” Ghosh said.

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