Bengal BJP in a spot over fake trade unions

Bengal BJP in a spot over fake trade unions

According to BJP sources, at present, seven such trade unions are there in the state claiming to be affiliated to the saffron party and the leadership is apprehensive that such activities may malign the party’s image. (Photo by DIPTENDU DUTTA / AFP)

The Bengal BJP leadership is in a spot with several alleged fake trade unions claiming to be affiliated to the saffron party and raising funds from the public.

According to BJP sources, the party leadership is apprehensive that such activities may malign the party’s image.

Sources said that most of the people who are indulging in such illegal activities have come from other parties and trade unions. “Moreover, as per the party constitution, we are not supposed to give affiliation to any trade or students’ union. We will select one among such trade unions which will later be affiliated to BMS,” said Subrata Chattopadhyay, general secretary (organisation) of the state BJP.

He also said the party will not take any responsibility for the activities of such so-called trade unions.

According to BJP sources, at present, seven such trade unions are there in the state claiming to be affiliated to the saffron party.

The political influence of trade unions in Bengal has made the issue even more worrying for the BJP. During the Left Front era, the clout of CITU among factory workers paid rich political dividends to the CPM.

After the TMC came to power in the state in 2011, the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTTUC), the trade union affiliated to the TMC, dislodged CITU from its dominant position.

However, these trade unions have almost no presence among central government workers in the state and the state BJP is keen on gaining their support.

“So the party leadership has decided to deal sternly with such fake trade unions,” a senior state BJP leader said.

West Bengal has a history of labour unrest and major political parties have capitalised on them to stay in power. After its success in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is trying to eat into the TMC’s areas of influence such as the Bengali film industry, state government employees, teachers, and labourers.