The West Bengal unit of the BJP landed in a controversy on Monday after singer Kumar Sanu's name featured in its list of speakers during the saffron party's "rath yatra" in the state later this month. An astonished Sanu said he was no longer a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and neither was he consulted before putting his name in the list.
The controversy erupted on Monday morning after the state BJP sent the list of the speakers during the "rath yatra", featuring the name of Sanu, to the central leadership of the party.
"I am no longer a member of the BJP. I had joined the BJP a few years back...I am not in touch with the party for a long time. Without consulting me, how could they put my name in the list of speakers, I have no idea," Sanu said.
When contacted, BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu claimed that the singer's name was included in the list as he was still a member of the party.
"Our job as a state unit is to send the list of the speakers to our central leadership. It is the central leadership which consults the speaker and seeks their confirmation. We have sent his (Sanu's) name, but did not campaign about it as we did not have any confirmation," he said.
BJP president Amit Shah will kickstart the three "rath yatra" in Bengal, which are scheduled to start from Coochbehar district in the north on December 7, from Gangasagar in the south on December 9 and from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was likely to attend four rallies during the "rath yatra" to give a thrust to the party's campaign in West Bengal ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls, state BJP sources said.