Revolt is brewing up in the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with workers going on warpath at various places in the state on Monday (March 15). While in Kolkata they roughed up former Union minister Mukul Roy, state vice president Arjun Singh and Shiv Prakash at the party’s office in Hastings, reports of ransacking of the offices have come from Howrah and Hooghly districts as well.
However, while talking to media in Kolkata on Tuesday, the party’s president J P Nadda claimed that everything will be sorted out soon and there is no problem in the party. Union home minister Amit Shah, who was on way from Guwahati to New Delhi made an unscheduled stop in Kolkata on Monday to stay overnight.
The rampaging mob alleged that the office-bearers and workers who have been associated with the party since long are feeling cheated over the denial of tickets. They are of the view that turncoats from different parties, especially Trinamool Congress, having hardly any base to win election on their own, have been given ticket.
In Singur the party has fielded 90-year old Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who had left TMC sometimes back and had joined the saffron brigade only on March 8. The TMC was about to reject him on the ground of old age, though fully acknowledging his services to the movement against land-acquisition in 2006-08.
In protest against the allotment of ticket to Rabindranath a large number of workers ransacked the office in Singur (Hooghly district), another prestigious seat after Nandigram. In fact, Singur had witnessed violence on Sunday also just after the announcement of his name.
In Chinchura in the same district the party fielded its MP Locket Chatterjee denying ticket to a couple of strong contenders.
Workers from Panchla in Howrah assembled at Hastings. They shouted slogans against the party’s candidate Mohit Ghati and called him “drunkard and characterless”.
Partymen from Udaynarayanpur, also in Howrah, raised slogans against the BJP candidate.
Police had to put a lot of effort to keep the angry mobs away from the party offices in Kolkata and elsewhere too.
Reports said that in several places rebels have made up their mind to contest as independent candidates even if it facilitates the victory of the Trinamool Congress. Analysts are of the view that the anger among the old guards has made the task for choosing candidates for the next four phases even more difficult.