With West Bengal BJP under tremendous pressure from the ruling Trinamool Congress, the party’s national president JP Nadda is set to visit the state on January 9 to address the newly formed state executive. His visit is aimed at boosting the BJP cadre’s morale and to quell an internal rebellion.
Also, Nadda’s visit has come amid rising unrest among BJP lawmakers as some are upset with the new district president’s appointment and others over lack of proper representation or responsibilities.
The BJP has continued to claim that it faced intimidation, assault and other threats during the Kolkata civic body polls. Senior party leaders took to Twitter recently to condemn alleged acts of violence against their candidates during the KMC polls.
Senior leaders are expecting Nadda to address their grievances, and are looking for assurances and that other issues are being looked into, especially those that forced some of their colleagues to become dissidents.
Sources said it was unlikely that he will speak extensively on the issue of dissent in the gathering of 107 members.
Earlier, BJP’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh had visited Bengal to address the state executive. While many had expected him to address organisational issues, Santhosh spoke primarily on ideology and the need for patience and restraint in the wake of alleged violent backlash by the TMC.
He also announced that those aged 35 will be eligible to be members of the youth wing and no district president should be aged above 45, a norm in the central unit as well.
A senior state leader quoted Santhosh as saying, “Democracies don’t accept extremes. It runs on middle path. We are not here just to counter the TMC, it is a political challenge but there are others as well. When you go to that extreme, it is not good. Like they did too much in Tripura and people threw them out.”
Sources said Santhosh also asked them to be patient and nationalist, and not right or any other wing.
Many leaders, however, believe that the attrition from the BJP to the TMC was almost over and not many will be leaving the party despite differences.
“We have been told that everyone will be given responsibility and no one will be left unutilised. Let’s see what Nadda ji will have to say to us,” said a senior party leader.