Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said on Sunday that the party will not project a chief ministerial face for the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, the Hindustan Times reported. Vijayvargiya also oversees the BJP’s West Bengal unit.
“The achievements of the Narendra Modi government will be our face and it will ensure our victory,” Vijayvargiya told reporters. “After the polls, elected BJP lawmakers can select their leader.” Asked by PTI if the party has anyone in mind for the post of chief minister, Vijayvargiya said “time has the answer”.
“Right now, our target is to win 220-230 seats in the 294-member Assembly,” Vijayvargiya said. “We will achieve our target as we did in the Lok Sabha polls. The matter of projecting a CM face won’t be a factor.” The BJP won 18 of the 42 seats in the West Bengal Lok Sabha elections last year, with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress winning 22.
An unidentified senior BJP leader told the Hindustan Times that a silent campaign had been underway for the chief ministerial face of the party in West Bengal, which has emerged as a problem for the party. “We strongly suspect that the campaign was started by a section of party leaders pursuing personal agenda,” the BJP leader said. “It became the subject of widespread gossip and speculative news items, helping the TMC to project our Bengal unit as a divided house. All this will end with Vijayvargiya’s announcement.”
Another BJP leader said that state party chief Dilip Ghosh has become the “darling of the crowds”, which “may have made some people frustrated”.
West Bengal BJP Vice President Jay Prakash Majumdar seemed to back Ghosh for the post. “I can only talk about only two facts,” he said. “The Bengal BJP fought unitedly in 2019 under the leadership of Ghosh and created a situation where the TMC looked vulnerable. Secondly, the central leadership re-elected Ghosh as state president for the second term and made it clear that he will lead the battle in 2021.”