Bypolls trigger bickering in West Bengal BJP

The Asian Age.  | Rajib Chowdhuri

Metros, Kolkata

Amit Shah seeks report, senior leaders divided over reasons for party’s poor show.

Union home minister Amit Shah (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata: A sharp division of opinion has surfaced within the West Bengal BJP over the party’s poor performance in the Assembly byelections in three constituencies in the state as party chief and Union home minister Amit Shah has sought a report from state party chief and Midnapore MP Dilip Ghosh to know the reasons.

While one camp found that the BJP campaign on the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Bill in the polls has boomeranged due to controversies over them, another section accused the Trinamul Congress of winning by orchestrating attacks on the BJP. State BJP vice-president Chandra Kumar Bose tweeted, “Its essential for @BJP4Bengal to cleanse the party system & devise a strategy specific to Bengal. Pan India strategy would not apply to the land of Swami Vivekananda & Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.”

He added, “Political parties must take interest in Bengal genuinely to work for its people & develop the basic infrastructure for upliftment & not just treat it as a vote bank for political victory. This would not work as the people of Bengal are politically sharp & astute.”

Mr Bose later noted, “We were supposed to win the by-polls. But we could not because of some organisational faults and some issues which we took to the people during the polls. These were non-issues. It would have been better if they were not raised in the present political situation here. NRC has been an issue of Assam since 1985.”

He argued, “ It has not been discussed in detail here however. Mr Shah had earlier stated that NRC would be discussed after the CAB would be passed. So NRC campaign was not needed in the by-polls. There were many other issues like employment and industry the people, politically conscious, want to know how the BJP can help them.”

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha however argued, “We have won 18 seats in Lok Sabha Elections without attacking anyone. The TMC is always attacker here while the BJP and the opposition face their attack.”