In a reflection of the growing disappointment in the party cadre and deepening frustration among the state leadership in West Bengal over New Delhi’s refusal to lend desired support to the state unit against what the party calls ruling Trinamool Congress’s ‘strong-arm tactics’, the state came up for special discussion in the short national executive meeting on Sunday, sources said.
West Bengal was the only state other than the poll-bound ones to be discussed in the meeting of BJP’s apex policy making organ — Bengal found special mention in both the political resolution adopted by the conclave and in the inaugural address of the party president.
Sources said the references were in response to repeated complaints from the state unit.
Why Bengal came up in poll meet
After emerging as the main opposition in the Assembly polls with 77 seats, the BJP has been facing internal issues and exodus of leaders who joined it from TMC before the polls. The frustration among the cadres forced the national executive to take up the issue at a conclave otherwise devoted to campaign strategies.
“There has been a feeling among the cadre and party leaders in West Bengal that Delhi — both the Centre and the party — have neglected them and taken no steps to support them in their fight against TMC,” a source said.
“There is enough evidence against some TMC leaders in the chit fund and coal scams. The central agencies could move against them,” a party leader said. “But there has been no follow-up on them, whereas the Mamata Banerjee government has initiated cases against several BJP leaders (in Bengal).”
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier summoned Lok Sabha MP and senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee in the alleged Rs 1,352 crore coal scam. The probe was based on an FIR registered by the CBI over alleged coal pilferage in Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora collieries.
Sources said state BJP leaders have repeatedly requested the Centre and the party’s national leadership to ensure the “accused” in these scams are probed to “reach a logical conclusion.” However, one leader said, “there has been no concrete action from the Centre. Every time the leaders tell us that ‘time will come’.”
After the party failed to win a majority in the Bengal Assembly polls, it has been facing internal issues as well as an exodus of leaders who had joined it from TMC before the election in March-April. Given the exodus, the party’s strength in the Assembly is down to 70.
The party had won 18 of 42 seats in Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“The organisation the party has built on the ground, our cadres, and our emergence as an alternative remain. We can continue to fight if we are backed by appropriate action from Delhi.”
Sources said Bengal leaders who participated in the national executive presented the case before the national leadership. “But there is still no sign of action,” the leader quoted above said.