New Delhi: Amid the ongoing crisis within the Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the party’s central leadership is mulling bringing in a major overhaul of the entire Bengal chapter, keeping in focus the party’s prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and next year’s panchayat elections in the state.
According to highly placed sources within the BJP, the party is likely to go in for a change in the leadership of the Bengal unit wherein present president of Bengal BJP, Sukanta Mazumdar could be replaced in the coming months. Sources say that the party’s central leadership is also deliberating on replacing the present organisational secretary of Bengal BJP, Amitava Chakraborty, against whom scores of complaints have been received by the central leadership.
Chakraborty was summoned to Delhi earlier in the week by BJP’s national general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh over reports of discontent and the party’s loss in the recently concluded bypolls in Asansol Lok Sabha and Ballygunge Vidhan Sabha. Chakraborty had met both B.L. Santosh and national party president J.P. Nadda in the national capital earlier in the week, where Chakraborty was asked about his “incapability” to lead the party and manage discord within the party in Bengal.
Chakraborty was also asked to present a report to the central leadership on the reasons for the BJP’s poor performance in Bengal in successive elections held over the last one year. He was also asked to give explanations over why several BJP leaders, including Ministers and MPs, have multiple complaints against him and why he was not being able to work in harmony with senior and experienced leaders in the state.
Chakraborty has been the organisational secretary of the party for the last two-and-a-half years. He was appointed as the BJP’s organisational secretary in October 2020, just months ahead of the crucial 2021 Vidhan Sabha polls. Since then, his party colleagues allege that Chakraborty has been ruling the roost within the Bengal unit and has created some sort of an “autocracy” within the party. Sources within the BJP have also indicated that the central BJP will look into overhauling the entire party unit in Bengal, and old-timers and experienced leaders who have been sidelined by the party’s current dispensation could be brought back. Sources also indicated that several MPs and MLAs would also get a seat in the state committee of the BJP in Bengal, with a fair representation from all communities and castes, which many allege is lacking in the present state committee formed by Amitava Chakraborty and Sukanta Mazumdar.
The formation of the present state committee also made massive headlines in the media with many senior leaders, including MPs and MLAs, leaving the BJP’s official WhatsApp group in a mark of protest against the duo’s “autocratic” decisions. The central BJP is also likely to replace Kailash Vijayvargiya as observer for Bengal. Sources aware of this development said that Kailash Vijayvargiya and Amit Malviya both could be replaced from Bengal and someone like Sunil Deodhar or Smriti Irani could be appointed as the central observer for Bengal. It is pertinent to mention here that Kailash Vijayvargiya, despite being the BJP’s central observer for Bengal, has not made any visits to the state in the last one year and has stayed away from Bengal politics during this time.
The chaos within the Bengal BJP has also forced Union Home Minister Amit Shah to embark on a three-day visit to Bengal, starting in the first week of May. Sources aware of the development have confirmed to The Sunday Guardian that Shah would hold several meetings with the state unit of the BJP. He would also hold meetings with all BJP MLAs and MPs from Bengal.
“Following Amit Shah’s visit, there is a likelihood that the entire state unit of Bengal could be revamped. The central leaders of the BJP are very unhappy with how the BJP in Bengal is functioning. They are unhappy with the fact that the state leadership is neither being able to keep their house in order, nor are they being able to take on the role of a constructive and aggressive opposition. A strong message would be given by Shah, when he visits Bengal,” a party functionary from Bengal told this correspondent.