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With an eye on civic body, panchayat polls in Bengal, BJP to induct new faces into state cadre

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 16 March 2017, 18:31 IST
(AFP Photo/Indranil Mukherjee)

After BJP's massive victory in Uttar Pradesh, the West Bengal BJP has decided to overhaul the state unit with fresh new faces to be inducted into the party.

Top sources in West Bengal BJP said they consulted national President Amit Shah a few days ago. Shah instructed them to bring in new faces to strengthen the party's base before the 2018 panchayat elections. Seven municipalities will also go to polls on 14 May 2017.

Sources in the state BJP said leaders whose name has been surfaced in various criminal cases, including the child trafficking case, will be sidelined and instead of them, some experienced faces will be brought in.

Already Juhi Chowdhury, the former BJP Mahila Morcha leader, and her father Rabindranath Chowdhury have been removed from the party for their alleged role in the child trafficking case in Bengal.

A senior BJP leader said, “We have seen that many tainted BJP members have got tickets as their backgrounds have not been checked and there is a need to remove some members from the party to rejuvenate the BJP before the panchayat election in Bengal. The matter has been discussed with the national president too.”

Sources in state BJP said that many All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) cadres have joined the BJP over the past few years and there are plans to expose the corruption of the Trinamool government along with them playing the communal card to strengthen their base.

Already, BJP's Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya along with state president Dilip Ghosh and BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha have launched an attack on the Trinamool government at a rally in Shahid Minar, a few months back, on the issues of their anti-Hindutva actions, the Saradha and the Rose Valley chit fund scams.

Long-term plans

Apart from holding training camps for the already existing cadres at the block level, the state BJP has also decided to increase their cadres strength by recruiting more people. Presently there are around 50 lakh BJP party cadres in Bengal.

Presently in West Bengal, there are:

19 zilla parishads

1 Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad

333 panchayat samities

3,342 gram panchayats

47,000 gram sabhas

The BJP is yet to gain a foothold at the zilla parishad, panchayat samiti and gram panchayat levels in the state.

Senior BJP leaders feel that a strong leadership is needed in Bengal so that the party can revive their strength ahead of the panchayat elections. They are also planning to appoint an experienced leader to monitor and held strengthen base in the state.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “We have plans to induct new faces in state BJP and we are in talks with Shah in this regard. Hopefully, a comprehensive plan will be framed as early as possible.”

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 16 March 2017, 18:31 IST