KOLKATA: In a bid to pacify dissidents within the party, who were axed from the hierarchy in the recent rejig, the BJP’s Bengal chapter decided to put the aggrieved party functionaries in charge of the committees which will be showcasing the projects launched during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure.
The move is said to be a strategy which will serve twin purposes. One is pacifying the discontent of those who were unhappy with the recent restructuring of the hierarchy and the other is highlighting the BJP-led central government’s successful ventures benefiting the common people.
Sources in the party said these committees headed by the dissidents would continue till 2024, with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections.
Discontent in the saffron camp surfaced prominently shortly after last year's Assembly elections shattered the party's dream of derailing the Trinamool Congress-led government. Many dissidents expressed their displeasure over the dependence on the TMC turncoats who joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls, sidelining the party's old workers.
The rebellion went out of the leadership's hands after the rejig which was done following the appointment of Sukanta Majumdar as the state president replacing present national vice-president Dilip Ghosh. Elected representatives of the Matua community, a Hindu religious sect comprising refugees from Bangladesh which had extended support to the BJP in previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, expressed their discontent in public after none of them was given berths in the hierarchy in the recent restructuring.
Dulal Bar was the state president of the BJP's scheduled caste wing but was nowhere in the hierarchy following the restructuring. "Bar expressed discontent at being axed from the hierarchy. In the new committee, he has been assigned as the chief of the committee which will campaign to showcase Modi's Swach Bharat mission. This is to pacify his discontent and make him feel that he is also playing an important role in the BJP's state affairs," said a senior BJP leader.
A section of BJP leaders said formation of new committees to highlight central projects was a move to resist defection of aggrieved party leaders to the TMC. "We won 77 seats in the Assembly elections. Now the number has come down to 77 as five MLAs defected to the TMC and we lost two seats, which were bagged in 2021, in the by-election. Besides, one sitting MP, Babul Supriyo of Asansol, joined the TMC too. We cannot afford more defection before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and so the disgruntled faces have been given new responsibilities," said another BJP leader.
Sarbari Mukherjee was one of the general secretaries of the party who was axed from the restructured hierarchy. Now she has been put in charge of the committee that will showcase the Centre's Beti Bachao Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
Similarly, Pratap Banerjee was one of the party's vice presidents before the new president's induction. In the rejig, he found no place in the hierarchy.
"In the new committees, Banerjee has been made head of a wing that will campaign in support of the Centre's Ajeevan Sahyog Nidhi, the party's fund raising scheme," said the leader.