With the BJP failing to replicate its 2019 Lok Sabha election success in West Bengal and losing ground to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the fissures in the state unit are once again out in the open, with at least two prominent leaders criticizing the state leadership. in recent days.

The party’s Bishnupur MP Saumitra Khan — he defeated his ex-wife and TMC candidate Sujata Mondal by 5,567 votes, the lowest among all 42 seats in the state — fired the first shot on Wednesday when he said, “Had it not been for the efforts. of the RSS and the central BJP leadership, we would not have won the number of seats which we won. We would have drawn a blank. There are no experienced leaders in the party who have experienced electoral success in their careers. The leaders also lack organizational knowledge.”

Alleging that a section of BJP leaders had “an understanding with the TMC”, Khan said, “Maybe some senior leaders of the party entered into an understanding with the TMC. If that had not happened, then we would have won more seats in Bengal. Only experienced leaders can run the state unit. This seat (Bishnupur) should have been won by 1 lakh votes. If I were with the TMC, I would have won this seat by more than two lakh votes.”

Former state BJP president and the party’s Bardhaman-Durgapur candidate Dilip Ghosh, who lost to the TMC’s Kirti Azad by 1.38 lakh votes, also trained his gun at the state leadership. Without naming Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, Ghosh said on Wednesday, “Conspiracies and backbiting are part of politics. I take them that way. Despite that, I worked hard enough, but success did not come. In politics, everyone walks around with a stick to poke you. The party was moving at a faster pace till 2021, which somehow got stuck after that. We could not move at the same pace in which we were moving till 2021. We had hoped a lot this year, but could not perform. There must be some gap. We must examine that. Everything should be discussed.”

Ghosh was removed as the state BJP president in 2021. Moreover, he was shifted from his Medinipur seat, which the TMC regained in this election, to Bardhaman-Durgapur. Some BJP insiders alleged that Suvendu influenced the decision to weaken Ghosh’s position.

Festive offer

Ghosh continued his criticism on Thursday. “The organization was weak,” he told reporters. “The workers could not come out of their homes. I stayed in Medinipur for more than a year to strengthen the booth-level organization. I visited every village in my constituency and helped implement several Central government initiatives there. People were happy with the work. However, the party decided otherwise. But today that decision (to move him out) has been proven wrong.” He said that being a dedicated BJP worker and coming from an RSS background, he had accepted the decision despite not wanting to contest from Bardhaman-Durgapur.

Later in the day, Ghosh posted on social media a quote that he attributed to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Keep one thing in mind, even one old karyakarta of the party should not be neglected. If necessary, let 10 new karyakartas get separated. Because the old workers are the guarantee of our victory. Trusting new karyakartas too quickly is not advisable.”

State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar, one of those in the line of fire, took responsibility for the party’s debacle but with a caveat. “As state president, I have to take responsibility for this. Maybe I could not take every decision. Someone had taken decisions. But it is me who will have to take responsibility,” Majumdar said without taking anyone’s name. The state BJP chief himself narrowly saved his Balurghat seat in north Bengal after winning it by 10,386 votes.

BJP insiders said of the state’s 42 constituencies, Adhikari played a role in choosing candidates in 34. Of them, seven won. The Leader of the Opposition and members of his camp have not yet reacted to the criticism from within the party.

Sources also said the RSS leadership in Bengal was not happy with Adhikari’s role in the BJP and wants Ghosh to contest the Medinipur Assembly bypoll that will have to be held because TMC’s Medinipur MP June Maliah will now have to vacate the Assembly seat. “If he wins, Dilip Ghosh may be made the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly replacing Suvendu Adhikari. This is still at a very early stage. Nothing has been discussed seriously,” said a BJP insider.

On the BJP’s internal troubles, TMC state vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar told The Indian Express, “It was predicted during the election that such situation will arise for West Bengal BJP. BJP’s list of candidates was primarily controlled and made by Suvendu Adhikari. Close to 30 candidates were hand-picked or finalized by him. Now that the results have turned out to be disastrous, Dilip Ghosh, Saumitra Khan, and Sukanta Majumdar have come out with their grievances. Their primary target has to be Suvendu Adhikari. He is solely responsible for this disjointed effort of the BJP in Bengal.”

Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: Full list of winners