New Delhi: With less than a month to go before the West Bengal Assembly elections are announced, the Bharatiya Janata Party is going all guns blazing into the election campaign from next week as decided at the core committee meeting held by the senior party leadership earlier this week in New Delhi.
According to sources aware of the details of the meeting that was held in the national capital, the BJP has chalked out a detailed roadmap for the election campaigning that it will undertake to corner the Trinamool Congress in the state, which it sees as the main opponent in the upcoming elections.
The core committee meeting of the BJP leadership, which was held at the New Delhi residence of state BJP president Dilip Ghosh on 2 February, also saw the attendance of newly inducted leaders such as Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee. Apart from them, national general secretary of the party and Bengal observer, Kailash Vijayvargiya, national vice president, Mukul Roy, national joint general secretary, organisation, Shivprakash, national secretary and co-incharge of Bengal, Arvind Menon, were also present in the meeting.
The plans discussed in the core committee meeting of the BJP included the “Parivartan Rath Yatra”, which started on Saturday as the BJP believes that this Rath Yatra, which will pass through all the 294 Assembly constituencies of the state, will create a momentum for the BJP.
According to sources in the meeting, a detailed discussion on the routes, leaders who will participate in the Rath Yatra and from which point, was held. The Assembly wise issues that are to be raised have also been taken into account and passed on to the district leaders responsible for seeing the arrangement of the Rath Yatra.
Apart from this, a list of senior central BJP leaders and ministers that the party wishes to field for election campaigning in the state was also discussed in the meeting.
A senior BJP leader, who is aware of the meeting details, told The Sunday Guardian that senior BJP leaders such as Smriti Irani, Yogi Adityanath, Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are among the most sought after in Bengal.
“Smriti Irani is a good face for campaigning in Bengal. She can speak fluent Bengali and has the connect with a lot of women in Bengal as she had shot to fame post the Hindi commercial daily soap in the 1990s and has a huge following among women and the youths of Bengal. Moreover, she is fiery and can aggressively take on Mamata Banerjee. Yogi Adityanath is another firebrand leader who will be able to garner a lot of votes for the party, for his electric speeches are a favourite among the youths in Bengal and, of course, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah remain our star of star campaigners in Bengal. Apart from these very senior leaders, the state leadership has also sent in a long list of leaders who they are wanting in Bengal. A request has been made for the Prime Minister to campaign as much as possible in Bengal,” the senior BJP leader quoted above said.
The BJP also has a power-packed week lined up for itself, which started on Saturday with the Parivartan Rath Yatra being rolled out from Nabadwip in Bengal, by BJP national president J.P. Nadda. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address a political rally in Haldia after completing his government programme scheduled in Haldia on Sunday, 7 February.
Amit Shah is likely to visit Cooch Behar and Bongaon on 11 February and attend two mega rallies.
Apart from this, sources in the BJP have said that some of the leaders present in the meeting have suggested to take on Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Mamata Banerjee, aggressively and highlight his “corrupt” practices as, according to them, he is very unpopular among Bengali youths and “exposing” him and his alleged links to “corruption” will give an edge to the BJP.
The other key issues that were discussed in the meeting include the structure of the election manifesto that the party will roll out for Bengal ahead of the elections. There was also discussion about putting pressure for a free and fair election as the BJP believes that a large section of the state machinery will be working to influence the election in favour of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
It has also been decided that the core committee of the BJP will meet every 10 days from now on, to analyse the impact of the campaigns it has launched on the ground and to draw the future course of action till the elections are over in the state.