Kolkata: Before Durga Puja, Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to visit Bengal and meet with party leaders there. One of Amit Shah's closest lieutenants, Sunil Bansal, the Bengal BJP in charge, met with the Bengal leaders two days prior to his arrival. He was joined by newly appointed Co-in-charges Mangal Pandey, the Bihar BJP leader, and Asha Lakra, the mayor of Ranchi. Bansal presented the leaders with the plan for the party's growth in the state as proposed by Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda.
Under the condition of anonymity, a senior Bengali BJP leader told the NewsDrum, "When Sunil Bansal first met the party leaders, he instructed us to come together and show our strength. Last week, leaders and supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party took to the streets. The central leadership has expressed satisfaction with our effort. The party leadership has also provided us with a clear direction for what to do moving forward.
Nabanno Chalo aftermath
The Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party has experienced nothing but animosity between its leaders, repeated electoral failures, and defections over the past few months.
However, after the CBI and enforcement directorate revealed numerous corruption cases against the government and the Trinamool Congress party, things began to change.
The arrest of Partha Chatterjee, the TMC's suspended secretary general and number two in the cabinet, in connection with the alleged SSC scam, gave the saffron party a fresh start.
The public's perception of the ruling TMC has been damaged by the arrest of Arpita Mukherjee, who is allegedly a close aide to Partha Chatterjee, and the recovery of more than 50 crores from her home.
Sukanta Majumdar, the state BJP president, leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari, and Sunil Bansal prepared the strategy for taking to the streets.
Despite being poorly organised and carried out, the Nabanna Chalo demonstration did help the party bring everyone together. Sources claim that JP Nadda, the president of the BJP, and HM Shah were behind this framework.
Just after the protest on Sunday Sunil Bansal along with Mangal Pandey and Asha Lakra reached Kolkata. First, all these leaders along with the top Bengal BJP functionaries met the injured supporters and leaders. Thereafter these leaders held a mega two-day meeting with the state BJP office bearers and public representatives.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Bengal pointed out that the party will no longer take a backseat as per the central leadership's directive.
Asha Lakra, the mayor of Ranchi and Bengal co-in charge told the reporters, "I want to tell Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that this violence will not be tolerated.
After visiting the injured BJP supporters she said, "The Bengal BJP is retaliating and will do so in the future. Bengali citizens will soon provide you with the necessary response."
JP Nadda and Amit Shah reportedly had phone conversations with Bansal, Sukanta Majumdar, and Adhikari after the Nabanno Chalo demonstration.
Bansal requested the central leadership to dispatch a fact-finding team to the state during this meeting.
"The central leadership is with us in this fight in Bengal, and they sent the fact-finding team to get objective reports about the ground reality," a senior BJP leader said.
The central leadership has also accepted the demand of the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari that the panchayat elections will happen in presence of the central security forces.
Uttar Pradesh model
BJP central leadership, including Sunil Bansal, has reportedly elaborated on the Uttar Pradesh model of winning elections, according to sources in Bengal.
As a whole, the BJP focuses on the Gujarat model, but in Bengal, the diversity, size, and differences of the state have caused it to shift toward the Uttar Pradesh model.
Some BJP leaders think Sunil Bansal was chosen as the primary observer for Bengal because of his extensive experience managing elections in Uttar Pradesh by Amit Shah.
In the 2014, 2017 and 2019 elections, Bansal served as general secretary (organisation) of Uttar Pradesh and collaborated closely with home minister Amit Shah.
Bansal has reportedly concentrated on creating grassroots organisations at the booth and Panchayat levels throughout Bengal. Similar to this, the central leadership has advised that the Bengal BJP leaders identify the BJP's core supporters in each region.
According to the sources, the central leadership has informed the BJP leaders in Bengal that the organisation will grow in two distinct phases.
Although the leadership has suggested that the BJP leaders will need to approach the old guard of the Bengal unit, the expansion of the grassroots organisation will take place independently.
The central leadership of the party wants the internal strife to end, according to a senior BJP official present at the meeting.
It was learned that Bansal and Mangal Pandey have suggested that in order to accomplish this, the party's old guard should reappear.
The central leadership wants us to win back the many leaders who have turned against us in recent years, said a source.
According to the sources, the district presidents in each district will identify these leaders and compile a list that will be given to Sukanta Majumdar.
This list will include the names of those who, in the past, maintained ideological ties to the BJP or the RSS but have since distanced themselves from the Sangh or party.
Under the condition of anonymity, the senior BJP official said, "The central leadership has made it clear that the foundational work done by the organization's veterans and former workers cannot be disregarded. The party's central leadership sees such individuals being marginalised as the primary factor contributing to internal strife. Every district chief will compile the names of such individuals, and we were instructed to get in touch with them directly to ask them to return."
Under the leadership of former Bengal BJP central observer Kailash Vijayvargiya, the party launched a major initiative to destabilise the TMC and win over the leaders. However, this effort was unsuccessful because the majority of these leaders joined Mamata Banerjee's party after the saffron party was defeated.
Under the condition of anonymity, a senior BJP official stated, "The central leadership has provided specific guidelines when it comes to bringing leaders from the ruling party. They first suggested that it shouldn't take place on a grand scale. Second, the party will perform a thorough investigation of every leader who wants to join the BJP. The background information, why they want to change boats should be crucial to decide on bringing them.”
According to the sources, the top Bengal BJP leaders have been told by the central leaders not to guarantee high positions to TMC candidates who want to join the BJP.
The leadership has recommended that such individuals should be monitored after joining the BJP, given local tasks, and only after successfully completing such works will the party decide on an elevation of the post.
A Senior leader of the Bengal BJP, who did not want to be named, said, "The central leadership does not want us to make the same mistakes we did in 2021. They request that the Bengal BJP refrain from luring TMC leaders away with the promise of election tickets."