The BJP is facing internal discord in many district units across Bengal.


New Delhi: The disenchanted Bengal unit of the BJP is likely to meet the same fate that it witnessed in the recently concluded Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections in all the other municipal elections that is likely to be held in the coming months in Bengal, claims several top leaders of the BJP from Bengal.
BJP leaders from Bengal say that the BJP has still not been able to put its house in order post the debacle it faced in the Bengal assembly elections held in May last year. “Ever since the Assembly elections results were declared thousands of BJP karyakartas on the ground have jumped to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), many who stayed back are not engaging themselves in the party affairs owing to the party’s own internal fight, factionalism and arrogance of some state leaders. The party has failed to instill confidence amongst its party cadre ever since the poll defeat it faced in May last year,” a BJP functionary from Bengal told The Sunday Guardian.
The BJP is also facing internal discord in many district units across Bengal. Several MLAs and MPs of the party have also started to distance themselves from the party affairs in Bengal owing to intra party differences. The recent state committee and district committee reshuffle has also led to large-scale unhappiness amongst leaders of the BJP which is likely to impact the party’s prospect in the upcoming municipal polls in Bengal. BJP leaders from Bengal are claiming that if the affairs of the party continue like this it will become difficult for the BJP to even find people to put up their party flags. “The BJP has lost almost 50 to 60 percent of their grassroot karyakartas in the last six months. The district units are not in order, widespread factionalism even at the district level is harming the party. Today the BJP does not even have enough workers on the ground to man booths in the municipal elections, leave alone winning elections. The party will also find it difficult to put up candidates in several districts in Bengal.” A BJP leader from Bengal said.
The BJP is also finding it difficult to keep its flock together in the North Bengal region of Bengal where the party has shown exemplary performance during both the Lok Sabha as well as the assembly elections. One candidate Pintu Mukherjee put up by the BJP for the upcoming Asansol municipal polls also refused to submit his nomination for the election on behalf of the BJP and was later found to have joined the TMC, to which, BJP’s national secretary and leader from Bengal Anupam Hazra had tweeted asking who decides on the candidates for the BJP that the party ends up picking such persons to contest on behalf of the BJP.
Some BJP leaders also questioned about the missing central leadership from Bengal. BJP’s Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya has not been to Bengal even once, ever since the reports of violence started coming in from the state, post the assembly election results in May. “It seems Bengal is not in the priority list of the BJP at the moment. The Central leadership has abandoned Bengal after they lost. The party has a non-functional central incharge. It seems the leadership is ignoring Bengal at the moment because they are more concerned about states where there is an election and municipal elections are not a priority for the central leaders.” The BJP leader quoted above said.
The BJP has lost the Kolkata Municipal elections with being able to win just 3 out of the 144 seats in the Kolkata Municipal corporation, with a massive erosion of its vote share in Kolkata. Bengal is also to witness four more municipal polls by the end of this month, including that of Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandannagar Municipal Corporation. The BJP earlier had chances of winning the Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Asansol Municipal corporation, but with the current state of politics within the BJP in Bengal chances seems bleak. Two strong leaders – Babul Supriyo from Asansol and Sabyasachi Dutta from Bidhannagar have switched to the TMC in the last few months. Apart from this, there are more than 90 other municipal corporations that will go to polls in Bengal in the next couple of months as the State Election Commission in an affidavit to the Calcutta High Court has said that the Commission would conclude all the pending local body elections in the state by May this year.