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BJP aims to break Trinamool Congress to win West Bengal elections this year


Kolkata: Home minister Amit Shah met West Bengal party colleagues in New Delhi on Friday to chart out BJP’s strategy to corner the All India Trinamool Congress ahead of the summer assembly polls.

According to people in know of the matter, the agenda of the meeting was “samiksha” (review) of the party’s campaigns launched in the last two months, mainly the responsibilities given to nearly 12 ministers and BJP senior officials to tour different parts of the State and reach out to party workers and voters.

The progress of two of the BJPs ongoing campaigns in the State, one to strengthen booth activity and have the party machinery to back block presidents, and another one to highlight the state of farmers in the State, were also reviewed.

Among proposals that were to be discussed was one by the Mahila Morcha to gherao chief minister Mamata Banerjee over safety of women and children.

Another was to increase visibility of BJP symbols and flags in the state to boost voter confidence in the party’s ability to trounce Trinamool.

The party is also planning campaigns centered around teachers, particularly para-teachers from government schools who have launched a protest for better salaries. It is also looking at a structured campaign to reach out to transport unions in the State.

The meeting with Shah that went on till late on Friday night also looked at where and when events of PM Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda should be held in the State.

The BJP plans to aggressively highlight allegations of ‘corruption’ and ‘lack of governance’ against the state government in the coming days.

Inducting Trinamool members into the party would continue. Nearly 19 MLAs and an MP have defected to BJP from Trinamool. Party in charge Kailash Vijayvargiya had recently claimed 41 more Trinamool Congress MLAs were willing to join BJP, but it was applying discretion on induction.

“We will definitely have more filters now. Even if they want to join us, they will be only welcomed as party workers,” said a senior party leader.

After Suvendu Adhikari, minister Rajib Banerjee and MP Shatabdi Roy have aired grievances against Trinamool recently. ET has also learnt MLAs Vaishali Dalmiya and Bishwanath Pariyal were in touch with BJP.

Though Babul Supriyo and Dilip Ghosh had raised concerns about Jitendra Tiwari, a civic body head in Asansol, from joining BJP, based on his record of violence against BJP workers, the party leadership seems determined that the priority at the moment was to break the Trinamool to win polls.

Last time, local leaders publicly spoke against the central BJP decision, Shah ensured they were served with show-cause notices.

“The BJP has organisational discipline. This is the time to speak in a unified voice to build confidence in people,” the leader quoted earlier said to justify the party’s approach to defectors and those who were once inimical to it.

Trinamool’s organisational strength and hold over areas in South Bengal, including Kolkata remain major concerns for BJP. It is also intensifying its campaign around the Matuas or the Namashudras, a community the TMC is also intently wooing.

Another concern is the state’s limited representation, Debashri Chaudhri and Supriyo, in the Union ministry, a point highlighted by Trinamool to claim that the BJP has neglected the state despite its good performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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