The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sikdar under Delhi watch

New Delhi, Nov. 14: In keeping with its new policy of cracking the whip on known dissidents and taming the ones carrying the seeds of a rebel, BJP president Venkaiah Naidu took a grim note of the recent statements made by the party’s former Bengal chief and Union minister Tapan Sikdar.

The chemicals and fertiliser minister’s comments on the new state party leadership under Tathagata Roy have not gone down well with the BJP’s central leadership.

In a press briefing today, party spokesman Arun Jaitley said: “The BJP has taken note of a statement made by Sikdar in relation to (the) West Bengal BJP unit. The BJP president has taken a stern view of the statement.” He also warned Sikdar not to repeat such statements and if he did, they would be “strongly viewed”.

Sikdar made no secret of his unhappiness with the new BJP executive in the state headed by Roy, elder brother of Trinamul Congress leader Suagata Roy.

Loyalists like Muzaffar Ali were sidelined in the new panel and Rahul Sinha, a known Sikdar basher, was elevated to the post of general secretary.

Sikdar said in public that the new executive was packed with people close to Mamata Banerjee. He accused her of trying to engineer a split in the BJP and ruled out chances of rapproachment with Trinamul.

Along with Sikdar, the other Union minister from the state, Satyabrata Mukherjee, was also left in the cold in the new dispensation.

They were accommodated in a subcommittee of “elders” — an indication that they would not have a say in matters of party policies and decisions.

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