“Former minister Suvendu Adhikari, Manoj Tigga and Mukul Roy were tipped to be front-runners to become the party leader in the Assembly, source said.”
. The BJP Parliamentary Board has appointed Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and party’s national general secretary Bhupender Yadav as central observers for the election of the leader of party’s 77 MLAs in the West Bengal Assembly. After the party finalizes the name, he or she will be later declared the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.
Former minister Suvendu Adhikari, Manoj Tigga and Mukul Roy were tipped to be front-runners to become the party leader in the Assembly, source said.
Adhikari has earned the trust of the party after defeating Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from the high-profile Nandigram seat.
In the knife-edge battle, Adhikari defeated Banerjee by 1,956 votes.
Another section of party leaders believed that senior leader Mukul Roy, who has become an MLA for the first time, should get the post due to his experience as a Union minister.
However, amid speculation that he may return to the ruling Trinamool Congress where he was once the Number 2, Roy on Saturday clarified that he was very much with the saffron party and will remain so. “My fight would continue as a soldier of BJP to restore democracy in the state. I would request everyone to put concoctions and conjectures to rest. I am resolute in my political path,” Roy tweeted on Saturday.
The buzz gathered steam on Friday after he was conspicuous by his absence at the BJP parliamentary party meeting.
BJP MLA Manoj Tigga, who was BJP’s legislature leader in state Assembly since 2016, is also in contention. Tigga won from the Madarihat Assembly seat.
“Because of his experience in the state Assembly in the last session, Manoj Tigga is ahead of Suvendu Adhikari to become the leader of BJP MLAs. But Suvendu defeated Mamata Banerjee in this election therefore he is seen as the face of the Opposition. If not them then Mukul Roy is also an option as he is a senior leader and has experience. The final decision will be taken by the central party observers,” said a state BJP leader on condition of anonymity.
In the Assembly polls, the TMC won 213 seats while the BJP got 77 seats in the 294-seat state Assembly. Elections for two seats in Murshidabad district, scheduled to be held on May 16, has been postponed due to rising Covid case.