A picnic triggers panic in West Bengal BJP

BJP’s Shantanu Thakur from West Bengal takes oath as member of Lok Sabha on June 18, 2019. Photo: LSTV

BJP’s Shantanu Thakur from West Bengal takes oath as member of Lok Sabha on June 18, 2019. Photo: LSTV

A section of dissenting leaders of the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Bongaon MP and Union Minister Shantanu Thakur, organised a picnic in North 24 Parganas on Monday.

The picnic, which is the third meeting of the BJP leaders who are not happy with the recent organisational changes, was aimed at passing on the message that unless their demands are met these leaders will continue with such protests.

Earlier, these leaders had held a press conference at Kolkata Port Trust guest house and met at Thakurnagar, the headquarters of the Matua Mahasangha.

Along with Mr. Thakur, three MLAs from the Matua community — former party vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar, Ritesh Tiwari and former general secretary Sayantan Basu — participated in the picnic. A section of Matua leaders is now demanding the implementation of The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

A few days ago, the refugee cell of the State BJP had issued a press release demanding the rules of the Act be framed without any delay.

Recently, the BJP had dissolved all its cells and departments in the wake of the protests by this section of disgruntled leaders. The demands include removal of general secretary of the State unit, Amitava Chakravorty. On Monday, posters came up in Kolkata against Mr. Chakravorty demanding his resignation.

While the party leaders who participated in the picnic said the event had nothing to do with politics, the political message was hard to miss. “You can call it a meeting to discuss strategy. Our aim is to strengthen the hands of our Prime Minister and also raise voice against the way committees were set up without giving us representation,” Mr. Thakur told journalists.

‘Proper forum’

Senior State BJP leaders, including national vice-president Dilip Ghosh and State president Sukanata Chowdhury, said the leaders should raise their voice at proper forum.

Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said the BJP continues to remain divided among different factions of “old, new and migrant BJP workers”.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 6:25:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/a-picnic-triggers-panic-in-wb-bjp/article38284555.ece