The BJP is in dire need of reform in West Bengal. With two-and-a-half years to go for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the party does not have a single wakeful moment to waste. It must immediately get to work – beginning with getting its own house in order. The BJP’s Bengal state unit – comprised heavily of TMC turncoats – needs an overhaul. The BJP must build an organic leadership for itself in the state. There is no other way around in a volatile state like Bengal in which the winner takes it all. Mukul Roy and his son’s betrayal act as testament to the same. However, in West Bengal – Suvendu Adhikari has emerged as a giant slayer.
Suvendu Adhikari defeated Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram and has been appointed as Leader of Opposition in the state assembly. He is the biggest asset of the BJP in Bengal. It would be only wise for the party to nourish Adhikari as the face of the party for the next five years. He must be tasked with critical strategising on behalf of the party at the ground level. When the time comes, which will be in 2026 – Suvendu Adhikari must be projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate.
There is no doubt that the BJP’s fortunes in Bengal took a massive hit due to its inability to give the people of Bengal a clear alternative to Mamata Banerjee, in the form of their own CM candidate. This indecisiveness to project a CM face must be immediately given up on. In a state like West Bengal, when taking up a fight against a streetfighter like Mamata Banerjee – having no CM face is suicidal, as the BJP must have learnt by now.
For the BJP, creating momentum like it did prior to and during the recent elections will also be equally difficult. Such factors make it all the more important for the party to empower Suvendu Adhikari so that he can deal with the TMC in a befitting manner, and in a language that they comprehend. Already, the morale of the BJP cadre has been dampened, and the party’s ground workers are being allegedly hunted down by the ruling regime in the state.
The BJP must protect its workers, otherwise, the party will have close to nobody carrying its flag two years from now, and that could have nationwide repercussions. The BJP needs to stop trusting non-organic leaders in West Bengal. It must identify leaders, and if need be, build leaders whose sole motivation is to oust the TMC from power; not jump ship to the TMC when the party loses. BJP cannot trust its flock of MLAs in its entirety right now. Many of them are Mukul Roy’s loyalists, who will not blink twice before retracing their steps back to the TMC.
Suvendu Adhikari must lead the mantle in reforming the BJP. He must build an organisation that is independent of TMC turncoats, and one that will stand by the party under all circumstances. Already, Adhikari seems to have become the leader corresponding with the central leadership and the Bengal state unit. This must continue, and Suvendu must be given powers to revamp the BJP organisation in Bengal.
Unlike Mukul Roy, Mamata Banerjee has come to despise Suvendu Adhikari. The BJP can trust him, and to be very blunt – he is the party’s best bet in West Bengal right now. BJP needs to stop inducting leaders from other parties and relying on them with its life. These are politicians, and they will inevitably go with the flow of the river. What the BJP needs are motivated, young, ideologically driven and loyal leaders. These qualities must not just be reflected by leaders, but must also be found among all BJP cadre in the state. The man who can ensure this happens is Suvendu Adhikari.