The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is clearly struggling to hold its fort together in West Bengal where it has grown rapidly over the last one year. Ahead of the civic polls, the party is facing a steep task to manage dissenters who have not received tickets. The state leadership is trying to defend the chaos saying it is normal in a rapidly expanding outfit, but not many are ready to buy the theory.
The BJP is struggling in Bengal because its leadership and organisation there are almost non-existent.
BJP can't overlook the fact that it made a blunder in Roopa Ganguly case
Take for example, the case of Roopa Ganguly. The BJP had plans to project her as its face in the civic poll but she could not be made a contestant for her name did not feature in the city electoral rolls. The BJP tried to show this episode as a conspiracy by the ruling party but sources in the Trinamool Congress said the actor's name could have been deleted from the electoral rolls in Rajpur area of South 24 Parganas from where she had voted in last year's Lok Sabha election.
Roopa Ganguly played down the incident when a local channel asked whether it was a big setback to the BJP's prestige. "Such a small matter is a prestige issue? When a old nun was raped in Ranaghat, it was no prestige issue for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," she hit back at the channel.
BJP's messy affair ahead of the civic polls
The actor's reply was really a nice one but does it say enough about the BJP's inefficient handling of issues ahead of the civic polls, seen as its high-profile battle with the Trinamool?
Roopa Ganguly episode reminded of the Kiran Bedi fiasco in Delhi
Recently, the BJP tried a similar experiment in Delhi where it fielded former supercop-turned-activist Kiran Bedi to counter both the party's internal rifts and the Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal.
It looked a masterstroke first but soon it proved to be counter-productive. Bedi's transformation from the apolitical to the political was not received well and the fierce rift in the party also ensured that the BJP could never achieve the unity the likes of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were striving for.
In Bengal too, the BJP made a big blunder by starting to project Roopa Ganguly as its face without knowing the technical problems. For a party which hopes to shock the powerful regime of Mamata Banerjee in the near future, such amateurish blunders are not expected.
Bengal BJP needs a strong leadership & organisation
The BJP needs a strong leadership and organisation in Bengal if it has to produce a earth-shattering performance in next year's assembly election. The party has been making enthusiastic drives to increase its membership, but does it have the capacity to absorb the rapid rise in members?
The state BJP leadership, one feels, banks too much on the electronic media and is plagued by the inefficiency to manage the growing membership. The leadership is leaving the old members annoyed since it is focusing too much on those who are joining from other parties.
The BJP has not done much good in capitalising on saradha scam and Khagragarh blast cases
The BJP hasn't succeeded much in encashing the Saradha chit fund scam or the Khagragarh blast case to corner the Trinamool Congress. And with the Modi wave also beginning to go past its prime, it will be difficult for the BJP to make any strong inroads in Mamata Banerjee's territory unless it has a robust local leadership in place. Parachuting leadership will not help.