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Turncoat leader forced to climb down from BJP's 'Parivartan Rath'

Kolkata: The factional feud in BJP escalated in Bankura district as the party's old-timers opposed Shyam Prasad Mukherjee—former Trinamool Congress (TMC) minister who had joined the saffron brigade recently—and forced the leader to climb down the 'Parivartan Rath' during a rally at Bishnupur. As soon as Mukherjee descended from the chariot, the old supporters rinsed the vehicle with milk and sprinkled the holy waters of river Ganges over it for

purification.

The old party members refused to allow the new entrants from participating in the procession. As scheduled, the chariot carrying leaders Raju Banerjee and Saumitra Khan, the president of BJP's state Yuva Morcha, was to move from Kotolpur to Bishnupur via Joypur.

Mukherjee boarded the 'rath' at Joypur. As soon as he climbed the chariot, old BJP supporters shouted slogans against him. The two leaders asked them to keep quiet as it would send the wrong message to the people. But, the supporters didn't listen to them. When the 'rath' reached an area near the forest office, the situation went out of control. To avoid any further trouble, Mukherjee descended from

the 'rath.'

Senior BJP leaders admitted that in many areas the old members are not accepting the new entrants. In East Burdwan, the old members have decided to field independent candidates. They had told the leaders that they would not accept the new entrants who had prevented them from casting a vote during the Panchayat elections in 2018.

Meanwhile, political experts said the infighting would further intensify after announcement of candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

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