KOLKATA: Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP at the Trinamool Congress less than a month ago, is likely to be appointed chairman of the Jute Corporation of India (JCI), under which he will enjoy cabinet status. He was provided with security in category Z just before joining the saffron party.
While the central government was searching for its bio-data, sources close to the development said its appointment was likely to take place in January. Before changing sides, Suvendu had long been a minister in the government of West Bengal.
While Suvendu could not be reached, Bengal BJP Vice President Raju Banerjee said: “This is good news for the state. Many farmers are dependent on jute cultivation in Bengal … He will have an important portfolio to work for farmers in the state. ”
JCI was formed in 1971 for the sole purpose of helping farmers obtain the minimum support price (MSP) for their products. Consequently, it intervened when farmers faced challenges in obtaining MSP. Based in Kolkata, JCI has played a key role in the cultivation of jute in almost 17 districts in Bengal.
Sources close to the development have indicated that Suvendu’s appointment comes at a time when JCI is in a phase of transformation. It has already introduced geographical mapping of jute growing areas with the help of Isro. He also introduced an e-book for farmers to eliminate intermediaries.
“The myth of newcomers not gaining a prominent place in the BJP will now be destroyed,” said Anupam Hazra, BJP’s national secretary.