‘Vijayvargiya has not visited the state even once becasue of anger against him’.
New Delhi: The West Bengal BJP unit seems to have woken from the shock that it received following the May election results with senior leaders now embarking on an interactive and consultative exercise with state leaders and workers to find out the reasons for the defeat.
The assessment is also being done regarding the position of the party cadre and organization in the interior districts of the state where it is reported that many of the party workers have either resigned from the party due to multiple factors or have gone back to the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
According to state party leaders, after the “unexpected” defeat that was announced on 2 May, national president Jagat Prakash Nadda had gone to Bengal and interacted with senior leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya, Shiv Prakash, Dilip Ghosh and Arvind Menon to gauge what had gone wrong. However, no exercise or meetings were done after that to assess the reasons for the defeat.
It was only in August that national joint general secretary of the party, Shiv Prakash, started conducting meetings with all the district units of the BJP to assess where the party’s electoral policies faltered in an election where the BJP fought with every arsenal at its command.
“One of the main points that was raised by Shiv Prakash was regarding the status of the party’s organization in the interior parts of Bengal. He has asked each district president to give him a list of leaders who are likely to defect to the TMC in the coming days. A list of those, who have already defected, too has been asked for,” a party leader, who attended one of such meetings, said. Shiv Prakash has also asked the district and state leaders, apart from the block leaders, to submit the problems that they were facing regarding strengthening the party’s infrastructure in the state. The central leadership, through Shiv Prakash, has asked the state leaders to become active on the ground and “stand with party workers” who “seem to have lost the will” to work for the BJP, as stated by a district president to The Sunday Guardian.
Ever since the TMC regained power, at least three BJP MLAs have switched sides. This includes former National Vice President of the BJP and MLA from Krishnanagar Uttar, Mukul Roy, BJP MLA from Bishnupur Tanmay Ghosh and Bagdah MLA Biswajit Das. Following the result, state-in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya has not visited the state even once as there is a massive resentment against him among the state leaders and there were strong apprehensions that he would be heckled with even ink being thrown on him by party workers if he goes to the state.
Two Lok Sabha MPs, too, shared their anger against Vijayvargiya with The Sunday Guardian while holding him responsible for the debacle in the elections. “He misused faith imposed on him by the party leadership and gave tickets to undeserving candidates. The list of allegations against him is long; ask any party leader from West Bengal. He is single-handedly responsible for TMC’s win in the election,” a party MP, who was in Delhi, told The Sunday Guardian.
According to him, this anger was shared by other party MPs too, including many who have no BJP background and who had joined the party in the last 2-3 years. “No one should be surprised if some of the BJP MPs move to TMC before the 2024 general elections,” he said.