KOLKATA: The growing discord in the BJP's Bengal unit came to the fore on Wednesday as Lok Sabha MP Saumitra Khan stepped down from the post of the party's state youth wing chief and took to Facebook to launch a blistering attack on Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, claiming that he tries to take credit for all saffron camp achievements.
Khan did not cite any reason but his announcement on Facebook coincided with the report that some BJP MPs from Bengal might be made union ministers of state.
The Bishnupur MP, however, asserted that he wouldn't quit the saffron party.
"From today, due to personal reasons, I am relieving myself of the responsibility of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) state unit. I was in BJP, I am in BJP, and will continue to be a part of it," Khan, who had crossed over to the saffron camp in 2018 from the TMC, said on Facebook.
Iterating that he has full faith in Narendra Modi and the central leadership, he, however, trained guns on Adhikari and said that "one particular leader was making frequent trips to Delhi and claiming credit for every success of the party".
"This leader of opposition in the state should look in the mirror. He is misleading the leaders of New Delhi. He considers himself the tallest leader of the party in Bengal," Khan said in a video that he posted on the networking site.
He claimed leaders of just one or two districts are running the entire organisation in the state.
In a dig at state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, the disgruntled leader further said, "He understands only half of what happens. He cannot comprehend all of it."
Sharing responsibility for the party's defeat in assembly polls, Khan said, "It is time for me to step down. I have never hankered for any post."
Alleging that "many politicians with dubious credentials had been inducted into the BJP before assembly polls", Khan said, "Some of them were nominated and they failed to win the elections."
He further said that "it appears only some people made sacrifices for the party and the rest had no contribution".
Adhikari, on his part, refused to respond to Khan's allegations.
"I will not comment. I will not take it seriously. He is my younger brother. I will go and have lunch at his residence in Delhi. I had campaigned for Saumitra Khan in Kotulpur in 2011. I wish him every success in his career," he maintained.
The leader of opposition also said that he doesn't attach much importance to Facebook videos.
Asked if any disciplinary action would be taken against Khan, he said, "I shouldn't talk on organisational matters. It will be decided by state president Dilip Ghosh."
Reacting to Khan's comments, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the rivalry between the old and the new leaders of the saffron camp is now out in the open.
"Suvendu had enjoyed power in TMC before joining the BJP. Now he is cornering other leaders in the saffron party. Old and loyal members are bound to get upset," Ghosh said.
Khan's estranged wife and TMC leader Sujata Mondal said he had warned the MP against joining the BJP long ago.
"He should understand that a party like the BJP will back elements like Adhikari. I had realised this long back," she added.