News Desk: Factional feud in the BJP West Bengal unit reached new heights on Saturday when the party’s Bishnupur MP, Saumitra Khan — who switched from the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls — dramatically announced that he is quitting as state BJYM (BJP Youth wing) chief and left the official Whatsapp group, “BJYM West Bengal Official”.
However, Khan returned to the same group by the evening and also withdrew his resignation.
He sent out a video message saying he was “upset and hurt… but no person is larger than the party… hence he decided to remain in the party, continue in his post and work towards throwing out the ruling TMC from office.”
This act was a follow-up to Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh’s action the previous day. On Friday, Ghosh unilaterally dissolved all the district BJYM committees that had been set up by Khan, without consulting him. Khan is known as a Mukul Roy-loyalist within the party.
Soon after Khan announced quitting his post, central BJP leaders Kailash Vijaywarghiya and Shiv Prakash spoke to Ghosh, it is learnt.
This Khan episode comes four weeks after former state party president Rahul Sinha openly revolted against the party, when Mukul Roy and Anupam Hazra were given national party posts during the organisational reshuffle by party chief J P Nadda
Sinha is still with BJP but has not reconciled to being sidelined “after giving 40 years to the party,” according to party insiders.
With BJP’s strength in Bengal having grown considerably since the party won its biggest ever victory in the state, picking up 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, it has seen a steady inflow of leaders and cadre.
Without a suitable leadership face in the state, BJP has relied on breaking away winnable candidates from rival camps. However, the induction of leaders from TMC and other parties has created a steady rift between the old timers and the new entrants.
As the party is gearing up for 2021 assembly polls, a clear demarcation between the Dilip Ghosh camp (mostly old timers including RSS-backed members) and Mukul Roy camp (mostly those who came in from TMC) has surfaced.
Matters came to such a point that former party chief and Union home minister Amit Shah had to step in with the message that internal differences need to be buried to fight TMC.