Kolkata: The BJP high command is looking to build up Suvendu Adhikari as the party’s answer to the “Pishi-Bhaipo’ (aunt-nephew) leadership in West Bengal, top party sources said.
They say this is a conscious departure from the BJP-RSS line of having a ‘swayamsevak’ (from the RSS stable) for the key position like Chief Minister or Leader of Opposition in a state.
“Himanta Biswa Sarma’s emergence as Assam Chief Minister and Suvendu Adhikari’s as Leader of Opposition marks this new line that defectors who have proved their loyalty and competence must be given the top jobs,” said a top BJP leader but he preferred anonymity.
Adhikari’s victory in Nandigram has boosted his stock and his attack on Mamata Banerjee’s behaviour during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bengal has further endeared him to Modi-Shah-Nadda triumvirate, he said.
That BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh had no idea of Adhikari’s visit to Delhi, where he got a personal audience from Modi and all BJP seniors, points to the new clout of Adhikari.
Even BJP dissidents like former Governor Tathagata Roy, so critical of the ‘KDSA Gang of Four’ (Kailash-Dilip-Shiv-Arvind), have not been critical of Suvendu Adhikari, despite their pitch for restoring BJP ‘old timers’ to position of importance.
Roy also met BJP party chief Nadda.
He said he had come to Delhi on the request of the party top brass but state BJP sources were not aware of either his or Adhikari’s Delhi visit.
“His victory over Mamata in Nandigram with 34 per cent Muslim electorate has really boosted his credentials,” the leader said.
He said the BJP is looking at 2024 Lok Sabha and 2026 state assembly polls in West Bengal and they want Suvendu to lead the charge against the Trinamool.