Amid growing dissent in the West Bengal BJP, state unit president Sukanta Majumdar took the bold decision of dissolving all departments and cells formed in 2018 under former president Dilip Ghosh. The move is being seen as an attempt to accommodate growing number of so-called rebels.
Late on Thursday, the state BJP’s media cell issued a statement, “As per instruction of Dr Sukanta Majumdar, MP, state president of West Bengal BJP, all departments and cells stand dissolved till the time they are reconstituted and new appointments made.”
The announcement caused a flurry of interpretations by the media and leaders in the TMC as Majumdar’s decision covers all appointments/committees reformed recently and in the past by Ghosh.
It should be noted that there will be no change in the recently constituted media department, department of social media, department of IT and media relations department.
Former president Ghosh told News18, “The changes will only happen in those departments and cells that were not reconstituted after the new party president Dr Sukanta Majumdar took charge in Bengal. Many people started speculating that the central leaderships asked the state BJP president to dissolve all the reconstituted departments, including the recently reshuffled state committee list. But the fact is, the decision was made to reconstitute/reshuffle nearly 17 departments and 18 cells where changes had not been made in the last couple of years. They were dissolved yesterday (Thursday) till such time as they are constituted. It is a routine affair as such changes happen with the appointment of a new party president.”
“There is nothing much to speculate here as we all are united and will continue to take on the ruling party in Bengal. I personally feel that there was no need to announce it yesterday (Thursday). They should have reshuffled first and then released the fresh list,” he added.
A BJP source, however, said the announcement was made in advance to calm dissenters and give them a message that there they could be accommodated.
“It was also decided that no one in the party will hold multiple posts, so as to accommodate a large number of party leaders in different departments and cells,” the source added.
New faces will soon be announced for departments/cells dealing with legal affairs, good governance, policy research, training, political feedback, political programmes and meetings, library and documentation, disaster relief and assistance, president’s office tour and programme, development of publicity literature, coordination of trusts, election management, coordination with election commission, party journals and publications, international relations, Ajeevan Sahayog Nidhi, culture, traders, trade, loom, ex-servicemen, unorganised sector, doctors, Swastha Pariseva, law, intellectual, refugee, economy, teacher, cooperative, fisherman, club relations, basti development and prabasi.
After the BJP’s assembly election debacle in West Bengal, the state unit on September 20 announced a fresh list of 72 committee members, including morcha presidents, incharges and co-incharges for different departments in the party.
After the appointment of Majumdar as the new state president, an organisational change was required as the party was witnessing a large number of switchovers to the ruling TMC.
To hold the fort in Bengal amid chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s rising popularity, BJP national president JP Nadda gave responsibility to 10 MLAs and six MPs to strengthen the party across the state.
The most significant organisational change noticed in the list was the induction of two new MLAs as general secretary and six new MLAs as secretary. This was probably the first time when the state BJP gave the responsibility to new faces.
Following the organisational changes, the state BJP recently faced a setback after union minister Shantanu Thakur left the ‘West Bengal BJP WhatsApp Group’ on January 3.
Presently, Thakur holds the portfolio of minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways. He is the BJP MP from Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district. He had expressed his discontent after Matua community leaders were not given prominence in the revised state committee list announced on December 23.
Five BJP MLAs had also quit the official WhatsApp group of the party’s legislature.
Hence, the state unit swung into action to handle the crisis and dissolved all departments and cells till they are reconstituted and new appointments made.
“The move comes two days after rebel BJP leaders decided to sit for a meeting on January 15 to discuss differences between the old timers and new members in the party,” said a state BJP vice-president.