Other States

Former TMC leaders get top slots in Bengal BJP

Chandra Kumar Bose.

Chandra Kumar Bose.  

Netaji’s relative Chandra Kumar Bose is dropped from post of vice president

With an eye on the 2021 Assembly polls in the State, the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has undertaken a significant reshuffle in the list of its office-bearers, giving many of the top slots, such as posts of vice presidents and secretaries, to former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders.

The new list of office-bearers, most of whom joined the party in the past few years, particularly from the TMC and even from the Left parties, has irked the BJP’s old-timers in the State.

Notable among the names in the party’s list of vice presidents is Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh. Mr. Singh was a key leader of the TMC in the working class areas of North 24 Parganas, till the last Lok Sabha poll.

Senior BJP leader Subhash Sarkar has also been accommodated as a vice president.

Former Indian Police Service officer Bharati Ghosh, known to be close to the TMC’s erstwhile general secretary Mukul Roy, and Mafuja Khatun, a former MLA from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have also been included in the list of vice presidents.

Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee has been selected as general secretary of the party, along with Purulia MP Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato and north Bengal BJP leader Rathin Basu.

A key omission

A key omission was the removal of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s grandnephew and technocrat Chandra Kumar Bose from the post of vice president of the party’s State unit. Mr. Bose had been vice president of the party since 2016 and even contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the Kolkata South seat on a BJP ticket.

“I was not informed about my name being dropped from the list of vice presidents of the party. In fact, I got to know about the development from media,” Mr. Bose told The Hindu.

Mr. Bose had publicly disagreed with the BJP’s line on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and said that he “had expressed differences” as he felt “it did not go with the ideals of Netaji”.

“I have not opposed CAA but asked for clarifications and modifications. Unless the party decides otherwise, I shall remain in the party. After the COVID-19 crisis eases out, I will try to meet Prime MInister Narendra Modi and explain my position,” Mr. Bose said.

Women’s, youth wings

Well-known fashion designer Agnimitra Paul has been made the chief of the BJP’s women’s wing in West Bengal. Bishnupur MP Soumitra Khan, who was also formerly with the TMC, has been selected as the leader of the party’s youth wing in the State.

Two Trinamool Congress MLAs — Sabyasachi Dutta and Dulal Bar — have also been awarded mid- to senior positions in the saffron party. Mr. Dutta has been made a secretary, while Mr. Bar has been given charge of the Scheduled Tribes (ST) Morcha unit. Khagen Murmu, MP from Malda North, who was formerly associated with the CPI(M), has been made the chief of the BJP’s Scheduled Caste (SC) Morcha unit.

Party insiders said that the reshuffle was an attempt to represent all regions and communities in West Bengal while deciding on its office-bearers for the State.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 10:27:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/former-tmc-leaders-get-top-slots-in-bengal-bjp/article31750083.ece

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