NEW DELHI: In a bid to take charge of the political slide of the BJP in Bengal, BJP national president J.P. Nadda, earlier this week, appointed key RSS man Satish Dhond as the joint general secretary (organisation) of West Bengal. Dhond has been given the responsibility to ensure that the issues plaguing the state unit of the BJP is addressed and rectified in the coming months.
Satish Dhond, who will be stationed in Bengal’s Asansol area, will have the charge to control the infighting and factionalism that is one of the key concerns for the central BJP. Sources also said that Dhond will directly report to the Central BJP, which includes the party president J.P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and national general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh. Sources in the BJP aware of this development said that Dhond has been sent to Bengal as joint general secretary (organisation) to “clip” the wings of the current Bengal BJP general secretary (organisation) Amitava Chakraborty as a plethora of complaints regarding Chakraborty has been received at the Central BJP headquarters.
“Several MPs, MLAs and even senior state leaders from Bengal had complained about the style of functioning of Amitava Chakraborty to the top most leaders of the BJP and reports were also received from Bengal about how Chakraborty was promoting his coterie of people in Bengal BJP and side-lining workers who were responsible for the party’s win. To keep a check on the powers of Chakraborty and to give honest feedback from the ground, Dhondji has been sent to Bengal,” a senior BJP functionary from Delhi told The Sunday Guardian.
Satish Dhond, a staunch RSS man, is regarded by his colleagues as a soft-spoken individual who likes to work in the background and often remains away from the limelight. Dhond is also credited with the victory of the BJP in Goa and is known for crafting social engineering strategies to ensure political dividends for the BJP. Dhond, a close associate of the late Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, was brought into the mainstream Goa politics and appointed as the state’s general secretary (organisation) after the BJP thought a vacuum had been created after the death of Parrikar and the organisation needed a strong organisational man to help it bounce back.
Soon, Dhond was given the responsibility to re-organise and re-energise the BJP in Goa and, much of his credit, he has been successful enough to manage the Goa BJP and also make the BJP win both during the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and in the 2022 Assembly polls. Though Dhond is known as a man of few words, among his colleagues, he is known to be a man of firm mind and strong words. Dhond is also credited with keeping the flock together in Goa when the party was facing a tough time and ensuring that all castes and communities were entrusted in the ideology of the party. Keeping Dhond’s track record of organisational ability in mind, he has been sent to Bengal not only to re-organise and re-energise the BJP in Bengal, but also to break the coterie system and deep-rooted factionalism within the Bengal BJP. Dhond has also been given the task to keep an eye on both state president Sukanta Mazumdar as well as Leader of Opposition in the Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari. Speaking to this correspondent, a Bengal-based BJP functionary pointed out the fact that it is very rare for the BJP to appoint an organisational secretary from a different state and he believes that this decision was taken by the BJP in Delhi since they have lost trust in the current leadership of the party. Another BJP leader from Delhi said, “Some leaders in Bengal were enjoying benefits from both the TMC as well as the BJP and they were busy presenting a rosy picture of the organisation to the central BJP to earn praise. Such tactics will now be broken. The central BJP is very much concerned about the happenings in Bengal and the dwindling organisational capabilities of the BJP.”
Sources also indicated that Dhond will also have to present a fortnightly report directly to the top three bosses of the BJP in a bid to ensure that the state leaders are not “misleading” the central unit of the BJP.