The West Bengal BJP on Tuesday held a meeting of its office bearers in Kolkata. This meeting, after the loss in state assembly elections last month, saw the absence of prominent faces. Trinamool Congress (TMC) turncoats Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee were missing from the party meeting. Suvendu, who is the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the West Bengal Assembly, has gone to Delhi to meet the top BJP leadership. However, the state party chief Dilip Ghosh said that he didn’t know the propose of Suvendu’s meeting. “I knew there was a meeting. I don’t know why he went. The leaders of Suvendu or Delhi will be able to say. Maybe there was an urgent need,” Ghosh said.
On the other hand, Rajib, who was the forest minister in previous Mamata Banerjee government before switching to the BJP in January 2021 ahead of state polls, is allegedly flying under the radar for the last few weeks. His absence has only added fuel to the fire of speculations that he might switch sides.
Mukul Roy, who is a vice-president of BJP, also didn’t attend the meeting. Though Roy is not a member of the party’s West Bengal unit, rumours are abuzz about his plans as he is still settling in the BJP after leaving Trinamool two years ago.
There are other reports that the leader is looking after his wife who is unwell. Notably, Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee had recently visited Roy at the hospital.
There were reports that the BJP’s Bengal meeting was aimed at organisational reshuffle. The party has denied this, and said the meeting was held over post-poll violence in the state, and for creating a blueprint for future work.
Nonetheless, the absence of big names like Suvendu, Roy and Rajib – all TMC defectors – from the party meeting after the election results might give fodder to the opposition.