The Bharatiya Janata Party’s West Bengal unit on Thursday evening dissolved all its departments and cells amid discontent among party members, reported PTI. These cells and departments were constituted only a few weeks ago.
“As per the instructions 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,” read a circular issued by the party.
Grievances within the party started brewing last month when 10 BJP MLAs, including Union minister Shantanu Thakur, quit the party’s WhatsApp groups in protest against their exclusion from the new state committee. BJP leaders Sayantan Basu and Jay Prakash Majumdar were also excluded from the newly-formed committee, reported The Hindu.
“Long-time party leaders and those who have actually helped build the party in Bengal have been left out of the new state committee,” a senior BJP leader who did want to be identified told the newspaper. “We have nothing against new inclusions but it should not be at the cost of removing the old-timers.”
The party’s decision came two days ahead of a meeting of the dissident BJP leaders. These party leaders are supposed to hold a meeting on January 15 at Kolkata Port Trust Guest House, reported The Indian Express.
Thakur is a Matua community leader and represents the Bongaon Lok Sabha seat. “I will not like to comment on my leaving the WhatsApp groups right now,” Thakur had said. “Let the right time come, I will tell you the reason for my actions and my future plans.”
According to reports, he was unhappy over the poor representation of Matua leaders in the party committee. A few Matua community leaders reportedly met Thakur to demand adequate representation.
After Thakur, actor-turned-BJP MLA Hiran Chatterjee also quit all WhatsApp groups. “My decision was prompted by the realisation that my service is not required by the state BJP,” he had said. “Most decisions relating to programmes of the party in my constituency are taken without my knowledge.”