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Regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Differences hit BJP internal elections

Fingers are being pointed at the difficulties in the organisational elections after the 0-3 loss in the bypolls

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 01.12.19, 08:41 PM
Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh  campaigning for Jewel Murmu of Habibpur Constituency for the West Bengal Legislative Assembly by-election in Malda.

Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh campaigning for Jewel Murmu of Habibpur Constituency for the West Bengal Legislative Assembly by-election in Malda. (The Telegraph file picture)

Factionalism has come in the way of the smooth conduct of the organisational elections in the BJP that continues to fumble for answers following the 0-3 drubbing in the Assembly bypolls.

It was thought that factional differences would take a backseat in the BJP in its quest for power in the state following unprecedented success in the general election. As several uncomfortable questions have emerged after the 0-3 loss in the bypolls, fingers are being pointed at the difficulties in the organisational elections.

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“From Cooch Behar to Ghatal, factional differences are coming out in the open over the organisational elections. Given our already weak organisational set-up in Bengal, along with the factionalism, we could be losing sight of the target of coming to power in 2021,” said a senior functionary of the BJP’s state unit.

Sources said the unrestricted influx of political turncoats to the BJP was at the root of the problems which affect the election of mandal presidents across Bengal. The mandal presidents in the BJP hierarchy are similar to block presidents in Trinamul or area committee secretaries of the CPM, who work as vital pieces of the parties’ organisational backbone. The BJP has around 1,200 mandals in the state.

The sources said such problems had been reported from Cooch Behar, all four blocks of Siliguri, North Dinajpur, Malda, Suri, Ghatal, Pandua, and Chhatna, besides several pockets of North 24-Parganas.

“We are not offering organisational posts, such as presidents or general-secretaries, to defectors. Our old guard is more dependable than those being inducted indiscriminately from Trinamul and other parties,” said BJP state general-secretary Sayantan Basu.

Despite the thrust on getting members of the old guard in the organisational posts, the state BJP leadership has not found it easy to make sure the election of trusted loyalists.

In the BJP’s organisational polls, the cadres generally unanimously elect one leader as president at the booth level, who in turn selects his team. Several booths then unanimously elect a mandal president, who then come together to elect a district president jointly.

The national leadership of the BJP had asked the district presidents to ensure that 800-odd people favoured for the post of mandal presidents were unanimously elected, while elections to 400 other mandals were put on hold.

A source said 14 to 16 of the 38 organisational district presidents could be changed by the end of next week.

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