Facing flak from the ruling TMC over repeated demands of the division of West Bengal by a section of BJP legislators, its national president J P Nadda Thursday urged party leaders to refrain from speaking on the issue. Nadda, on the concluding day of his visit to West Bengal, held a meeting with BJP MPs and MLAs in the afternoon.
During the meeting, J P Nadda Ji asked everybody to avoid speaking about a separate state or the division of Bengal. “He has said it is sending out a wrong message among the masses and is not in line with the party's official position. It was made clear that no one should make any comment that might cause embarrassment for the party," a senior BJP leader said. The development comes amid several BJP leaders demanding either a separate state or a union territory, carving out districts of the North Bengal region.
Kurseong BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma had on Thursday morning stoked the demand for bifurcation of West Bengal and said he would bring up the matter during Nadda's meeting with the lawmakers. BJP's Alipurduar MP John Barla and legislators of Matigara-Naxalbari and Dabgram-Phulbari seats have also called for a union territory to be carved out of the North Bengal district.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP of trying to fan separatism in the state, vowing to not allow division of West Bengal. "Nadda Ji's instructions were vital as comments by certain MLAs and MPs have led to embarrassment for the party,” another state BJP leader said. The BJP chief, during the closed-door meeting, urged Bengal BJP leaders to strengthen the organization and put up a spirited fight against the ruling Trinamool Congress to “unmask its misrule”.
"Nadda Ji has said the state unit should pull up its socks, and leaders and workers must visit every booth and promote the developmental work of the BJP-led government at the Centre," a party MLA said.