Actor-turned-BJP MLA Hiran Chatterjee on Wednesday followed the footsteps of Union Minister Shantanu Thakur and quit all WhatsApp groups of the party’s state unit but asserted that he has no plans to quit the saffron camp.
Hiran Chatterjee had joined BJP about a year ago and had won the Kharagpur Sadar assembly.
Thakur had quit all WhatsApp groups of BJP’s state unit on Sunday alleging under representation of the backward Matua community, to which he belongs, in the recently formed state and district committees of the party.
Chatterjee, who had been the sole winner from the party in Paschim Medinipur district, told reporters, ”My decision was prompted by the realization that my service is not required by state BJP. Most decisions relating to programmes of the party in my constituency are taken without my knowledge.” He said the BJP central leadership – party president J P Nadda and others were sympathetic to his situation and promised to take up the issue with the state unit, but ”nothing has happened.” Chatterjee without naming Medinipur MP Dilip Ghosh, who is also the BJP national vice-president, said ”The Kharagpur district unit president who was the former state unit chief unilaterally takes all decisions regarding the programmes of the party unit when I am away from my constituency.” To questions on whether he has any plans to quit the party, Hiran replied in the negative.
”No. I want to work under the leadership of Narendra Modi. I have been voted by people of Kharagpur Sadar as BJP candidate. I will work for the people of Kharagpur as a loyal BJP worker under the guidance of our central leaders,” he said categorically.
Contacted for his comments, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said ”We have nothing to say on this matter.” Hiran Chatterjee had voiced his reservation earlier too when his picture went issing from BJP hoardings put up in Kharagpur town. Pictures of Ghosh, Nadda, leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari were seen in the hoardings. ”Don’t know the reason behind the omission of my picture, but it doesn’t matter. People of Kharagpur are with me,” he had said.
On Monday in a major embarrassment to BJP, Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur, and a leader of the politically powerful Matua community, quit all WhatsApp groups of the party’s state unit.
Thakur had told reporters on Tuesday, ”It seems the state BJP leadership does not think that we (Matuas) have any important role within the organization.” His stance along with the move by 5 BJP MLAs last month to quit the party’s WhatsApp groups have left their future course of action wide open, said analysts.
Five BJP MLAs – Mukutmoni Adhikari, Subrata Thakur, Ambica Roy, Asok Kirtania and Asim Sarkar had expressed their displeasure over their omission from the state party committee and quit the WhatsApp group of MLAs of the saffron party.
Adhikari had said that the aspirations of the people of his constituency may not be fulfilled by the newly formed BJP state committee.
Roy, however later expressed his wish to rejoin the BJP WhatsApp group on December 27, two days after quitting it and said he would sort out any difference with the party.