Kolkata

Forward Bloc dissidents likely to join BJP in Bengal

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Two leaders of the AIFB, Yuva League have handed in their resignations and switched parties

Since its inception in 1939, All India Forward Bloc, a major Left Front constituent, has probably never received a blow like the one it will receive on Sunday. At least 1,500 party workers and leaders are expected to join the BJP – the force that they opposed all these years – in a “special programme” in central Kolkata.

If one of the rebel leaders, Anirban Chowdhury, former Secretary of the student wing of AIFB, Yuva League, is to be believed, “many state, district and local committee members” would follow suit. The president of the Yuva League, Ajoy Agnihotri, will also join the BJP.

AIFB, the party founded by Subhash Chandra Bose, is the second largest constituent of the Left Front in the State Assembly after the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The party was facing severe challenges from inside after the last Lok Sabha elections when it received 0.2 per cent of votes, even less than CPI, at the national level.

The youth leaders were vocal about the party’s constitution and “internal democracy.” “We did question the highest leadership,” said Mr. Chowdhury.

The main allegation was: “Why does the party not change the leaders who have been sitting at the top for decades?” When we asked them this question they snubbed us, Mr. Chowdhury said.

The Secretary General of the party, Debabrata Biswas, had said a few days back that “the disgruntled elements can leave” the party. So the top leadership of the Yuva League surrendered their membership and acting office-bearers were eventually announced. Both Mr. Choudhury and Mr. Agnihotri were state committee members of AIFB, till the beginning of this month.

Leadership unperturbed

The AIFB leadership, however, tried to brush aside the issue saying that leaders have deserted the party because their “personal aspirations were not fulfilled”.

“The two Yuva League leaders have recently submitted their resignations and they have been accepted by the party. We are confident that other comrades of the Yuva Legaue will not follow them,” Jayanta Roy, State Committee member and senior leader of AIFB, said. Mr. Roy described the claims made by BJP that the “entire youth wing of the party has joined it” as “gossip”.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:21:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/forward-bloc-dissidents-likely-to-join-bjp-in-bengal/article6228089.ece

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