Is Kiranmoy Nanda Being Wooed By BJP For A Role In West Bengal?

Kiranmoy Nanda was a minister in West Bengal for 30 years. He was the only Vice-President of the SP and the most important leader after Mulayam and Akhilesh. Is he joining to join the BJP to play a bigger role in West Bengal?

Kashyap Sarma

Kolkata: The BJP is trying to woo senior Samajwadi Party leader Kiranmoy Nanda to its fold as part of a scheme to come to power in West Bengal, according to reliable sources.

In the wake of unprecedented victory in UP, the BJP has become aggressive in order to gain upper hand in the States in which it is not in power. Tamil Nadu politics have become a potboiler because of BJP’s unbridled ambition.

The BJP has been preparing a specific game plan for each State depending on the objective conditions obtained there. As part of the strategy evolved for West Bengal, SP Vice- President and Rajya Sabha Member Kiranmoy Nanda is being courted by senior BJP leaders. Top BJP leaders like Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh are in touch with Nanda and offered very tempting options.

The BJP had for the first time won two Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal in 2014. The BJP vote share has increased in West Bengal in 2014 over previous elections. While the BJP was polled 11.6 percent in 2011, it has gone up to 16.8 percent in 2014. Party president Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and 40 other leaders have finished their three-day tour in the State on Sunday. They had meetings with the ground level worker and discussed the ways and means to strengthen the party. Amit Shah has focused on three issues:1)Hindutva 2) Vikas-Development programmes pursued by Modi and 3) corruption in the Mamata establishment. While focussing on the immediate Municipal and Panchayati raj election, the long-term strategy for 2019 general elections is being worked out.

The future of senior leaders of Samajwadi Party has been in zeopardy ever since SP lost the UP election miserably. Kiranmoy Nanda is the third most important leader in the SP after Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh. He hails from West Bengal where he is popular. He has been in public life for more than four decades. Nanda was the top leader of the Socialist Party in West Bengal. On behalf of that party, he was in the Left Front Cabinet for thirty long years from 1981 to 2011. He handled important portfolios including fisheries, a key subject in West Bengal. In the wake of the developments that followed the defeat of the Left Front, Kiranmoy got the West Bengal Socialist Party merged in to Samajwadi Party. Nanda was made Rajya Sabha Member by the SP. Nanda had started his political life exactly 40 years ago in 1977, when he was elected as an MLA on Janata Party ticket.

Nanda has good reputation in West Bengal as a spotless leader who is considered a winning horse. He enjoys good relations with ruling and opposition parties at national level. He is a good orator. Impressed by these credentials, the BJP leadership is keen on getting Nanda into its fold. The tenure of Nanda in RS will end in April, 2018. Reliable sources suggest that the BJP wishes to get Nanda elected to RS on its ticket and probably field him as chief ministerial candidate in the Assembly elections scheduled for 2021. The party plans to attract the votes of the Hindu refugees from Bangladesh through Nanda.

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