Absence of CM candidate, weak local network cost BJP in West Bengal dearly: Maharashtra leaders

Mumbai: A palpable lull can easily be gauged from the mood in the state unit of BJP as it appears dismayed over the results of the West Bengal assembly polls. The preparations for the battle royal were so measured and calculated that it took over three years to make some ground, say many of them.

State BJP unit had deputed around a dozen of its legislators, an equal number of prominent office-bearers and a number of workers in West Bengal, besides BJP national secretary Vinod Tawde who was camping there since last a few months.

"Our local organizational structure was not so strong as that of Trinamool Congress. We tried our best but lack of a strong network at grass root level would certainly have helped us," Tawde told FPJ. The central unit of the party did maximum but it certainly makes a huge difference if the local cadre is capable, he said.

The cadres of Left parties and the Trinamool Congress are always ready to storm to the streets and adopt any mechanism they feel suitable to turn things in their way. In short, criminalization of politics is discernible at the grass-root, said Tawde, adding, we could not project a local face against Mamata Banerjee. Apart from Tawde, other prominent faces from Maharashtra those camping in West Bengal were Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and MLAs Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Siddharth Shirole and Sunil Kamble.

According to Abhimanyu Pawar, a bunch of leaders from Trinamool as well as Left Parties used to threaten openly to BJP leaders and candidates. Such a terror was unleashed that local BJP workers who participated in election rallies received the burnt by stone pelting and attacks on their residences. Despite strong evidence, local police did not refuse to register cases, he said. The absence of a strong local network of party cadres cost us dearly, he said.

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