Bengal BJP To Bring About Sweeping Organisational Changes: Report
Smarting under the assembly election defeat, the West Bengal BJP is likely to bring about a sweeping organisational reshuffle to crack the whip on recalcitrant leaders and a section of turncoats, who joined the party ahead of the polls.
The state BJP is also thinking to put up a “screening window” while inducting leaders from other parties, and taking a “Bengal-specific political line” in tandem with its pan-India policy to take on the Trinamool’s sub-nationalism, party sources said.
The BJP has decided to revamp the organisation by rewarding efficient party workers and leaders and remove several turncoats from local and district levels. It has also decided to rein in dissidence with a two-pronged approach.
The proposed measures come in the backdrop of poll reverses, growing infighting and reverse exodus, the latest being the switchover of BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy to the ruling party in the state.
After its defeat in the assembly polls in May, the state BJP has been a divided house with constant bickering among senior leaders who are blaming each other for the failure, the party sources said.
“Discussions are underway for certain changes at various levels of the organisation. There have been some issues. It would have been better if such things could have been avoided,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh told PTI.
Asked whether the BJP will take action against dissidents and TMC turncoats who are openly speaking against the party, Mr Ghosh said, “No one is above party discipline”.
“There are some people who had joined the party in the hope of getting something if the BJP came to power. But now, as we have failed, they are speaking in a different tone. All of us have to follow the rules and discipline of the party,” he said.
There is a growing resentment among rank and file as no action has been taken against Trinamool turncoats like Rajib Banerjee and Saumitra Khan who have been openly speaking against the BJP leadership since the poll debacle, party sources said.
The situation worsened after the state leadership took action against some district leaders but did not touch the state-level turncoats who were openly defying the party.
“There has been a lot of pressure from workers to take action against the errant leaders as this is not how a disciplined party like the BJP works. We have already zeroed in on dissidents and prepared a list, and action will be taken as soon as we get the central leadership’s nod,” a senior BJP leader, who is privy to the development, said.
“We don’t want people who are not keen on staying with us,” he said.
Several other turncoats like Sonali Guha, Sarala Murmu, Dipendu Biswas and Bacchu Hansda have expressed their desire to return to the Trinamool.
Learning from assembly poll “mistakes”, the party has decided to establish a “screening team” whose approval would be mandatory for anyone willing to join the party.
“We have made a big mistake by admitting anyone and everyone from the Trinamool. As a result of this, we could not benefit from anti-incumbency in many areas, whereas in other places, party units got filled with turncoats thus alienating our tried-and-tested workers and leaders,” another senior state BJP leader said.
He pointed out that in the 149 seats where the BJP fielded newcomers who had joined from other parties, the strike rate was just nine, whereas old-timers were fielded in 68 of 77 seats it won.