‘Illogical ticket distribution by the BJP has taken place in at least 20 seats’.
New Delhi: More than one dozen BJP candidates in West Bengal are facing strong anger from party workers, who have written to the central leaders questioning the “parachuting” of such candidates, many of whom had deserted the TMC to join the BJP, and till very recently, were beating BJP workers.
The Sunday Guardian has accessed multiple letters and videos of protesting workers against such candidates. This newspaper spoke to position holders in these Assembly seats, who have approached among other leaders, party president Jagat Prakash Nadda, to change the candidate. All of them spoke to this newspaper on the condition of anonymity citing “party discipline”.
All the BJP party position holders in the Rajarhat New Town Assembly, in a letter dated 22 March that has been addressed to Nadda, have mentioned the “suspicious” past of party candidate Bhaskar Roy who joined the party after leaving the TMC. The letter writers, who include the vice president of the district, all the block presidents and officials of Yuva Morcha, have said that they should not be held liable if Roy loses in the election as he “can’t win from this seat for sure”. Among others, the letter writers, all long-time party workers of BJP, have said that Roy has brought his own men who were earlier a part of the TMC to look after his campaign and these men are not coordinating with any of the BJP local leaders.
“If going on morning walk with a senior leader is the only criteria for getting a BJP ticket, then the party should have told us that. There are thousands of party workers who could have done that. We don’t know on what ground Roy was given the ticket, not even a single one of the district leaders was consulted, his name was not even a part of the ‘three-member panel’ that is sent to the high command to choose the most suitable among the three names. The BJP leadership has forgotten that it’s the ground workers like us who have brought the BJP into a position where it is so strongly challenging the TMC,” a party leader, who is among the letter writers to Nadda, told The Sunday Guardian. He said that “illogical” ticket distribution by the BJP has taken place on at least 20 seats.
Similar protests are happening as per reports received by the central leadership from Kalyani, Madhyamgram, Jalpaiguri, Pandaveswar, Jagatdal, Singur, Raniganj, Duragpur (East), Bongaon North and Gaighata seat.
In Singur, the party workers are up in arms against giving the ticket to 88-year-old former TMC MLA and agriculture minister Rabindranath Bhattacharjee. Similar is the case in Jagatdal where former TMC MLA Arindam Bhattacharya has been fielded and in Pandaveswar where Jitendra Tiwari, another former TMC strongman who is alleged to have personally assaulted BJP workers, has been given the ticket.
The party leaders burnt the posters of local BJP Raniganj MP Debasree Chaudhuri for her efforts in ensuring a ticket for Bijan Mukherjee, who has been named by the party from the Raniganj Assembly seat. “Who is he? He may be known to Debasree, but we have never seen him,” a district leader told The Sunday Guardian when asked why they were angry at Bijan Mukherjee’s candidature.
“Rallies of national leaders alone will not bring voters to the booth; it is also our effort as we roam around in burning sun and plead with the voters to support the party candidate. Our inter-personal connect with the voters is more important than the rallies of big leaders. The two top state party leaders who have given tickets to such candidates by taking other things into consideration rather than win-ability and loyalty, will realize their mistake on 2 May,” a district president said.