By Tirthankar Mitra
No stranger to intra-party squabbles, BJP leaders of West Bengal unit have often differed over internal matters of the party. But fissures are now discernible in the state saffron camp leadership over actions of governor, CV Anand Bose in the recent communal violence which erupted in the state.
Disagreement between leader of the Opposition and Nandigram MLA Subhendu Adhikari and state BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar whose rank has been swelled by the party’s national vice president Dilip Ghosh is out in the open. No attempt is being made to paper over the cracks even as panchayat elections are inching closer.
Memories may be refreshed about the backgrounds of the members of the dissenting factions in the BJP’s state unit. While Majumdar and Ghosh are veterans, Adhikari, a former minister in Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress state government has changed sides before 2021 Assembly elections.
It was learnt from party sources that Adhikari is peeved at not receiving the same degree of proximity from Bose which the former met with when the present incumbent’s predecessor, Jagdeep Dhankhar was the principal resident of Raj Bhavan. Ruling dispensation’s leaders to endorse this view.
Bose is to all intents and purposes a proactive governor prone to go by what meets his eyes rather than what he is told .His cutting short a tour of north Bengal and returning to Kolkata to take stock of the riot situation at Howrah and Hooghly that had marred the Ram Navami celebrations is a pointer to it.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier voiced her apprehension of trouble breaking out during Hanuman Jayanti. Three companies of central para military forces had been deployed in the state following a direction of Calcutta High Court to prevent any untoward incident during the Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.
To cap it all, the citizens were pleasantly surprised at the sight of governor Bose moving around the streets on the Hanuman Jayanti day. Cutting across party lines and the religious divide, the people were reassured no end when they saw the first citizen of the state playing a hands on role
For it is a rare and a welcome sight as well. There ought to have been no quarrel on this matter. But a discordant note was heard from the saffron camp. On the other hand, no aspersion of bias was raised by the ruling dispensation Trinamool Congress,
The jarring note was sounded by the leader of the Opposition Adhikari who said that the governor visited only those spots the police escorted him to. In other words, gubernatorial footfall was conspicuous by its absence in any potential trouble spot.
Continuing in a critical vein, Adhikari said that there were no Hanuman Jayanti functions at the spots where the governor’s motorcade rolled into. Bose went to the places where city police chief Vineet Goel took him to, he said underscoring his point.
If the contention of the leader of the Opposition seeking to label the governor’s dropping in at different points in the city as merely symbolic gestures, the faction opposed to him had other ideas. Both Sukanta Majumdar and Dilip Ghosh welcomed the governor being out in the city streets on the day of Hanuman Jayanti.
This is not the solitary instance of the leader of the Opposition’s criticism of the governor. When Bose visited riot scarred Rishra, Adhikari felt that instead of going places, the governor should send a report of the situation to the Union home ministry and exercise his constitutional rights thereafter.
Reactions were unavailable from Raj Bhavan about the governor’s take on the suggestions of the leader of the Opposition. But if the governor’s actions during Hanuman Jayanti are anything to go by Adhikari’s words have been brushed aside.
Moreover, Adhikari lost face as both Majumdar and Ghosh had lauded the governor’s spot visits. Taking his criticism of the leader of the Opposition a step ahead, Ghosh commented that it has almost become a convention in the state to criticise the governor.
This take of Ghosh, a former state BJP chief is a broadside fired at Adhikari. For be it Dharma Veera in the late ’60s or Gopal Krishna Gandhi in the last few years of Left regime, the governor came in for sharp criticism from the ruling dispensation.
After Trinamool Congress replaced Left Front regime, the ruling party had several run ins with governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. Incidentally, Adhikari was a frequent visitor to Raj Bhavan to update Dhankar on the different issues in the news and the Governor responded.
Apparently, Ghosh seems to have equated Adhikari’s criticism of the governor Bose with the fusillades fired in the direction of Raj Bhavan during the tenures of Gandhi and Dhankhar. In doing so, if Ghosh has drawn comparison between Adhikari with CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress, both ideological opponents of the saffron camp, the former state BJP chief could not care less. (IPA Service)