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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 July 2024

JP Nadda asks BJP leaders to stop separate state cry

His directive came during his meeting with party MPs and MLAs in Calcutta on Thursday

Avijit Sinha And Arkamoy Datta Majumder Siliguri/Calcutta Published 10.06.22, 02:06 AM
JP Nadda

JP Nadda File photo

BJP national president J.P. Nadda has asked the party’s legislators in Bengal to refrain from raising demands for a separate state, sources in the saffron camp said.

Nadda’s directive came during his meeting with the BJP MPs and MLAs in Calcutta on Thursday.

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“The party president has made it clear that none of the MLAs and MPs should make comments on separate states and emphasised that the party has no such stand. He said if required, central leaders, the state BJP president and the leader of Opposition in the Assembly will speak on the issue,” said a senior BJP functionary.

In the past few months, a number of elected representatives of the BJP called for creation of separate north Bengal state in order to bring development to the region.

Such statements, which were made by the legislators on different occasions and even at major programmes of the party like a recent meeting of Union home minister Amit Shah in Siliguri, prompted the Trinamul and the Left Front to accuse the saffron camp of trying to divide Bengal.

A number of state BJP leaders, MPs and MLAs who are based in southern and central parts of Bengal, voiced their dissent against the demand.

“Nadda has also asserted that the party wants the issue of the Darjeeling hills to be resolved. But we have to simultaneously bear in mind the geographical boundaries of Bengal,” the BJP functionary said.

A number of regional political parties in north Bengal which are believed to have considerable clout among Rajbanshis and even banned terror outfits like the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) renewed the statehood demand in recent weeks.

In such a situation, the directive from Nadda to the BJP legislators is significant.

This week, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had raised fingers at the saffron party. While speaking at a public meeting in Alipurduar, she alleged that it was because of the BJP’s indulgence that self-styled leaders of the KLO were raising the statehood demand and even issuing threats.

A BJP leader based in Malda said panchayat and Lok Sabha elections were ahead and it was high time that the party came out clear on the issue to retain its support base.

“A number of senior leaders believe that consistent demand for the separate state by some of our elected representatives can jeopardise the BJP’s prospects in the ensuing elections as there is a strong sentiment against the demand across the state. Also, such statements are providing opportunities to our political opponents to raise fingers at us. This is something which even the central leaders do not want at this time,” said the leader.

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