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West Bengal BJP suspends senior leaders; actors quit party

Joy Prakash Majumdar and Ritesh Tiwari were dropped from their respective party posts in the recent organisational reshuffle after Sukanta Majumdar (in picture) assumed the charge of president of the West Bengal BJP. File photo

The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday suspended two of its former vice-presidents only a day after issuing show cause notice to the leaders. The State unit suspended Joy Prakash Majumdar and Ritesh Tiwari for the time being till disciplinary proceedings against the leaders are not complete. On Sunday, the party issued show cause notice to both BJP leaders.

The two were dropped from their respective party posts in the recent organisational reshuffle after Sukanta Majumdar assumed the charge of president of the West Bengal BJP. These two senior BJP leaders had held meetings with Matua leader and Bongaon MP Santanu Thakur on different occasions.

Reacting to the developments, Mr. Tiwari said that the never in the history of the party had a leader been suspended only a day after show cause letters were issued and denied any opportunity to reply to the notice. Both these leaders are well-known faces of the State BJP and had served as party spokespersons. The development has once again brought to fore the internal squabbles which has been surfacing regularly over the past few months.

Mr. Santanu Thakur, who is Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, said that he would continue to have meetings with BJP leaders and such show cause notices would not make any difference. In the past few weeks several meetings of disgruntled BJP leaders led by the Union Minister and a picnic in his constituency have brought to fore the differences in the State unit. Mr. Sukanta Majumdar said notices were issued to the leaders as per directions of the “ disciplinary committee “ of the party.

Matuas restive

Meanwhile, Subrata Thakur, MLA from Gaighata constituency, said that Matuas across the State would have an outreach programme over their demands. The younger brother of Mr. Santanu Thakur once again emphasised on the need of framing rules of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019. Matua leaders also are keen on visiting Delhi and raising their differences with senior party leaders. Several MLAs both from regions with significant Matua population and Jangalmahal region of the State have written to senior party leadership demanding removal of several district presidents who have been newly appointed. Later on, Monday evening another BJP MLA from Haringhata in Nadia Asim Sarkar met Mr. Santanu Thakur and discussed ongoing political developments. Mr. Sukanta Majumdar said that on the issue of CAA, Matua leaders could meet the Union Home Minister in Delhi and the State unit of party would extend all cooperation. Matuas, who are Hindus from Bangladesh and have settled in bordering areas of the State, had supported the BJP in the past Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

Actors quit BJP

In another development, two actors from Bengali film and television industry, Bonny Sengupta and Sohail Dutta, announced that they had quit the BJP. Both joined the BJP before the West Bengal Assembly poll in 2021. A number of actors had joined the party before the election and have parted ways after the party lost to the Trinamool Congress, including Srabanti Chatterjee. Six MLAs of the party who were elected on BJP ticket have also defected to the Trinamool Congress.

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Printable version | Apr 30, 2022 10:16:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-bjp-suspends-senior-leaders-actors-quit-party/article38322883.ece