The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has set its eyes on the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections. The state Assembly elections will be held in the next year in the month of April-May. Preparations have begun in full swing by all the parties to increase its foot print in the state. In the recent series of development, JP Nadda appointed Mukul Roy, Annapurna Devi and Baijyant Jay Panda as national vice presidents of the party. This reshuffle has created a buzz not only in Trinamool party but has also exposed the internal fueds.
The appointment of Mukul Roy as the national vice president has not gone down well by some senior BJP leaders in Bengal. Veteran BJP leader Rahul Sinha has expressed his dissatisfaction as his position was not elevated. Sinha, who is a respected and senior party leader, was unhappy over the fact that he was not given much importance.
Rift in BJP
Differences among the party leaders came to the fore as Mukul Roy's position was elevated. Roy, who had joined BJP in 2017 after leaving TMC, has made his presence felt in the Bengal BJP unit. He has also served as a member of the national executive of the party. And now, with him being appointed as the VP, speculations are rife that party can give him a ticket for the upcoming polls. Differences between Roy and other party leaders also came to light in the past.
Rahul Sinha irked
Upset over the fact that the party did not elevate his position, Sinha said, "I have served the BJP for 40 years. I have been a soldier of the party from its founding days, but now leaders from the TMC are coming and taking our post. There cannot be anything more painful than that."
However, he did not made it clear whether he will continue with the party or not but said that he will announce his next move soon. After Dilip Ghosh was appointed as Bengal BJP Chief, Rahul Sinha was appointed as national secretary. Another turncoat, former TMC MP Anupam Hazra, a Mukul loyalist has been elevated as party's national general secretary. The move after Sinha was removed from the post, thus irking a section of Bengal BJP unit.
Prior to joining BJP, Rahul Sinha was working under RSS, the parent organisation of BJP. He was given the position of state president in 2015 but to his luck he has never won a single election despite several attempts.
If sources are to be believed, he may plan steps about his possible 'ghar-wapsi' following a meeting his former boss Mamata Banerjee at her residence on bhai-dooj last year. It has been noted that ever since Rahul Sinha has snapped ties with Banerjee's TMC and defected to the saffron party, he has been unhappy with the lukewarm response of the party.
However, close aides of Mukul Roy feel that the party did not give him his due despite the massive victory in the Lok Sabha polls. Roy has clearly stated that he will work under the leadership of Dilip Ghosh to make BJP win in the next elections. The cracks exposed in the party's unit may benefit TMC in the long run. However, BJP is gearing up to grab maximum seats in Bengal. The recent agitation between the party workers and the police has added fuel to the fire. With Tejasvi Surya appointed as new chief of BJP youth wing, the party has brought in new young faces thus adding troubles for Banerjee.
There has been a major overhaul among national general secretaries with many significant names dropped and new faces are given a chance. The list of eight general secretaries has five new faces with Bhupender Yadav, Arun Singh and Kailash Vijayvargiya being retained.
What Roy said?
Roy said, "I was given complete responsibility by the BJP to oversee the party's campaign in the panchayat and Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal. The central leadership has given me all respect and recognition." Replying to a question, he said he does not have any differences with the BJP's state president Dilip Ghosh. In a party like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) everyone works for the organisation, and people have their own space but with a common and shared objective. Asked if he had any grievance on not getting a ministerial berth even after a year of the Lok Sabha success in Bengal, Roy said he wants to work for strengthening the party's organisation.
"Getting a ministerial berth is not at all important for me. Being an organisational man, I want to work for the organisation, to strengthen the party," he said.
Roy's clarification comes amid speculations in a section of the press that he might quit the BJP, which was triggered by him missing most part of a key meeting in Delhi on the Assembly elections in the state due in April-May next year BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is in charge of the party's affairs in West Bengal, described the speculations as "baseless rumours"."These are rumours being spread by the TMC. There is not an iota of truth in it. Mukul Roy is an important leader of our party," he told.