BJP Central Leadership’s Firm Message To Bengal Unit: Work Unitedly To Win And Get Rewarded Later

Jaideep Mazumdar

Oct 01, 2020, 06:01 PM | Updated 05:53 PM IST

BJP president J P Nadda.
BJP president J P Nadda.
  • The party’s central leadership made it clear that politicking, back-stabbing and defiance will not be tolerated when a crucial battle lies ahead.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) central leadership has delivered an unequivocal message to the party’s Bengal leaders: cast aside differences, stop griping and work unitedly to win the state assembly polls next year. Appropriate rewards will only follow a win, the state leaders have been told.

    This firm message has been delivered to the state’s leaders at a meeting convened by BJP national president J P Nadda in New Delhi on Thursday (1 October). Amit Shah was also present at the crucial meeting.

    Nadda had announced a fresh list of office-bearers at the central level a few days ago. That came on the heels of a drastic overhaul of the state list of office-bearers.

    Some leaders whose names did not figure in the state or the central list have been grumbling and keeping themselves away from party work.

    The inclusion of a few newcomers in the party — those who crossed over from the Trinamool and other parties — in the office-bearers’ list has caused considerable heartburn among old-timers in the party.

    Most of the newcomers who have been accommodated in organisational posts are close to Mukul Roy (a co-founder of the Trinamool who joined the BJP a few years ago), who has also been appointed as national vice-president by Nadda.

    Simultaneously, some party old-timers did not find their names in the new list of office-bearers at the central and state levels. The most prominent among them is former state president Rahul Sinha.

    Sinha had been president of the state party unit from 2009 to 2015 and was, until recently, the national secretary of the party. Sinha’s name did not figure in the list of central office-bearers that was released earlier this week.

    Instead, former Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Anupam Hazra, who joined the BJP in March last year, was made the BJP national secretary.

    This led to considerable heartburn and Sinha even posted a video on social media expressing his acute disappointment over being dropped from the organisational post.

    “I have served the BJP for forty years. I have worked as a foot soldier of the party. But today I have been removed from my post to accommodate a person who came into the party from Trinamool. Nothing can be more painful than this. But I do not want to say anything right now about the reward I have been given by the BJP. I will announce my next step within ten to twelve days,” Sinha said in the recorded message.

    Sinha’s open revolt created a stir and upset many senior leaders of the disciplined party where rewards and raps are expected to be accepted with equanimity.

    Sinha’s public airing of his disappointment also encouraged a few other disgruntled elements within the party to join forces. But that was viewed with strong disapproval by senior leaders.

    Sinha was asked by the central party leadership to participate in Thursday’s meeting to discuss electoral strategy for the Bengal Assembly polls. Sinha was, initially, non-committal.

    However, senior leaders like Shiv Prakash prevailed upon him to attend the meeting in Delhi, which also saw participation by state party chief Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy.

    It was at that meeting that a very firm message was conveyed to the state unit of the party.

    “All the leaders were told to have faith in the central leadership’s wisdom and gameplan and sink their differences to work unitedly for the party,” said a senior BJP leader, who holds an important organisational post at the central level.

    The party's central leadership made it clear that politicking, back-stabbing and defiance will not be tolerated when a crucial battle lies ahead.

    “All issues will be addressed at an appropriate time. Right now, the need of the hour is to combine forces and go all out against the Trinamool to win the polls. Those who contribute their best to the battle will be rewarded appropriately,” the central BJP leader told Swarajya.

    He added that the message has gone down to the party’s rank and file loud and clear. “There is no room for cribbing and complaining. Defiance will not be tolerated and those who do not give their best will face action.

    “It has been made clear to all that the BJP is a disciplined party founded on lofty ideals and principles. Any action that spoils the image of the party will not be brooked. Individuals may have grievances, but there is always an appropriate time and forum to air them,” said the party leader.

    The BJP central leadership has also reportedly told Sinha that the party has a history of treating everyone fairly and rewarding those who overcome adversities and accord primacy to the interests of the party.

    “In our party, posts are not important and those who hanker after posts or those who grieve on being removed from posts should introspect and reassess their commitment to the party. We are in the party to serve the nation and that ideal has to be kept in mind always,” said another central leader, who was privy to Thursday’s discussions.

    BJP’s Bengal minders — Kailash Vijayvargiya, Arvind Menon and Shiv Prakash —attended the meeting on Thursday that was held at party president Nadda’s residence.

    Vijayvargiya and Menon are national general secretaries of the party while Shiv Prakash is the national joint general secretary (organisation).

    Though it was officially stated that the meeting would discuss electoral strategy for Bengal, the central leaders focused more on ironing out differences in the state leadership and impressing upon Ghosh, Roy and Sinha that they will have to join hands wholeheartedly without any reservations.

    The state leaders were also asked to ensure that their supporters also fall in line and adhere to party discipline.

    “It was made clear that the BJP is not a party like the Congress or the Trinamool where individual leaders can act defiantly, organise shows of strength and get away with acts which show the party in a poor light. Party discipline is of utmost importance,” the central BJP office-bearer said.

    This directive is significant in light of a demonstration put up by Sinha’s supporters outside the Kolkata airport on Wednesday afternoon where Sinha reached to take a flight to Delhi.

    They shouted slogans in Sinha’s support and said there was no need for him to go to Delhi.

    “I am going to Delhi since I have been invited. Let me go and see what happens there. I will talk to you all after returning,” Sinha told his supporters.

    This show of strength and defiance has not gone down well with the BJP central leadership. And, thus, the firm message not only to Sinha, but also to all other state leaders.

    Jaideep Mazumdar is an associate editor at Swarajya.

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