Discontent is growing within the West Bengal BJP over its first list of candidates for the 2019 polls as a senior state leader on Friday resigned while a group of BJP activists protested against the nomination of former Trinamool Congress leader Nisith Pramanik, who joined the BJP, from the Coochbehar seat.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Bengal unit vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak resigned from his post after not getting a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls. He will, however, continue to remain in the party.

“If I am not eligible to be a candidate, then there is no need for me to hold on to the post of the party. So I have resigned,” he said.

Pathak said he wanted to contest from either Sreerampur or Hoogly or any other important seat and was assured that his name was on the top of the list of probable candidates.

“Those who have recently joined the party are more eligible and they are big leaders with a ‘clean image’. They should also get a post within the party. That’s why I have stepped down.”

The saffron party on Thursday announced its candidates for 28 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.

The party’s women wing president Locket Chatterjee has been fielded from Hoogly and state youth wing (Yuba Morcha) chief Debojit Sarkar from Sreerampur.

A group of angry activists in the district vandalised a party office in protest against the nomination of Nisith Pramanik, who recently switched to the BJP from the Trinamool Congress.

The activists also heckled District Chief Malati Rava on Thursday accusing her of taking a bribe from Pramanik.

“We do not want any turncoat to be selected from Coochbehar. The party did not consider leaders who have been fighting against Trinamool for years. We are disappointed,” a worker said.

Rava denied all allegations and said that the central leadership had nominated Pramanik and the district leaders have “no say” in it.

State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh said those not willing to accept the central leadership’s decision may leave the party.

“We have gained in strength in West Bengal over the past two-three years… As a cadre-based and disciplined party, we have to accept the decision. Those who are opposing it can leave the party,” he said.

Meanwhile, posters in protest against the candidature of state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu could be seen in North 24 Parganas district’s Basirhat.

A banner, which bore the names of the district BJP leadership, termed Basu as an ‘outsider’.

Basu called it a “dirty political game” by the rival Trinamool Congress.

“Trinamool is habituated in playing such dirty games in politics. Did Trinamool themselves not give any seat to the outsiders in a constituency? Basirhat falls under the North 24 Parganas district and I am also from the same district,” Basu said.