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Repeated election losses expose fissures in Bengal BJP

Tathagata Roy.   | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Repeated losses in by-elections seem to have exposed the fissures in the BJP. Senior party leader and former Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has targeted a section of the party leadership for the recent humiliating defeats.

The BJP has lost all the four Assembly seats that went to the polls on October 20 to the Trinamool Congress, all with huge margins. Mr. Roy has taken to the social media to express his anger.

“BJP forfeits deposits in 3 out of 4: a party with potential to form a government in 2021! By handing over W Bengal to TMC, not only is BJP doomed in W Bengal; also doomed are the State and Bengali Hindus as a people. All 3 on a downhill journey from which they’ll never return..,” Mr. Roy tweeted on Wednesday.

The former West Bengal BJP president has for the past few months been critical of some leaders, but after the by-polls debacle his attack has been more direct.

“Some people are shocked that I have publicly condemned the BJP leaders. I did not say a word in public before the election. I said it inside the party. But after the setback in the election, when it was seen that there was no attempt at analysis and, on the contrary, they were patting their backs saying "3 to 77"... in such circumstances one has to speak out,” Mr. Roy tweeted on Wednesday.

In his tweets and public utterances, the veteran Bengal BJP leader has been saying that it will be an uphill task for the BJP leadership in the State. He has made it clear that he had not blamed “Narendra Modiji and Amit Shahji for welcoming undesirable elements” into the BJP in West Bengal and the “responsibility for this debacle will rest squarely on the shoulders of the KDSA team”.

The ‘KDSA team' refers to national general secretary and in charge of West Bengal Kaliash Vijayvargiya; former State president and national vice-president Dilip Ghosh; and BJP leaders Shiv Prakash and Arvind Menon who had key responsibilities during State Assembly elections. Not only has the BJP lost by-elections in all the seven seats held after May 2021, but five elected representatives of the party had switched sides and joined the TMC. The defectors to the TMC included the likes of Mukul Roy and Rajib Banerjee who joined the BJP with much fanfare before the 2021 Assembly elections.

While leaders like Dilip Ghosh have reacted angrily to Mr. Roy’s remarks, a few leaders feel that he is raising the right issues. “There are some people who do not get opportunity to speak and they tweet,” Mr. Ghosh said. He also suggested that it was for the higher-ups in the party to censure leaders like Tathagata Roy.

Interestingly, Dilip Ghosh, who is the subject of Mr. Roy’s attack, also criticised the attitude of party leaders during the 2021 Assembly elections. At a public event in Paschim Medinipur on Wednesday, he said that the party’s central leadership took all the decision during the elections. The former State BJP president said many BJP leaders were keen to become Ministers and were not present at the counting centres when the votes were counted.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 3:21:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/repeated-election-losses-expose-fissures-in-bengal-bjp/article37332546.ece

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