A day ahead of the BJP national president Amit Shah’s arrival in the city to address a party committee meeting, party co-observer for West Bengal Siddharth Nath Singh said here on Monday that Mr. Shah would meet the party’s new members of five States on Tuesday.
Addressing the media days after Mr. Shah announced a shuffle in the party’s State units and replaced Mr. Singh with Kailash Vijayvargiya as the observer for Bengal, Mr. Singh said the party’s strength lies in inducting new members. Responding to questions about Mr. Vijayvargiya replacing him, he said his role remained unchanged in the party.
“My role with the BJP does not change. West Bengal is important for the party. Getting a national general secretary [Mr. Vijayvargiya] to be the observer for the State only shows the party’s seriousness in its plans for Bengal. We shall all be working together for a Trinamool Congress-free Bengal,” he told journalists.
The country has been divided into seven zones for the party’s administrative purposes — south, east, west, north, Uttar Pradesh, central and north east. The party has received a total of 11 core members, Mr. Singh said, 90 per cent of whom have been analysed and segregated according to their villages and pin codes. While about 44 lakh persons registered for the party in Bengal, he expected to get about 10 to 15,000 active members from the State.
While speculation was rife about Bengal president Rahul Sinha getting replaced after the party put up a dismal performance in the recently-held municipality polls in the State, Mr. Singh struck down any chances of changes in the party State leadership. “I do not foresee any changes, as of now. Nobody is coming to West Bengal to make changes, we need to strengthen the party’s organisation,” he said.
Reacting to questions about a possible alliance with the ruling TMC after the Centre’s seemingly soft stand with the party leadership, Mr. Singh said the TMC was the BJP’s main opponent in the 2016 State Assembly polls and made references at the possible Congress-CPI(M) alliance.
“How can we go soft on the TMC? Has the party supported any Bill that we raised? Those who are entering into an alliance are showing their weaknesses. The CPI(M) has openly acknowledged the TMC’s challenge,” Mr. Singh said.
Meanwhile, party activists belonging to rival factions of the BJP got into a scuffle outside Sarat Sadan in Howrah, in the presence of party leader Shiv Prakash. Mr. Shah is set to address party members at the same venue on Tuesday.