‘BJP’s report from Bengal highlighted that the party was not even in the position to win five Lok Sabha seats in 2024’.
New Delhi: Ahead of next year’s Panchayat elections in Bengal and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is trying to rejuvenate its cadre in Bengal by restructuring its organisation right from the booth level to the state level. The party is also sending central ministers to the state often to take stock of the organisational abilities of the party in Bengal.
Central Ministers like Smriti Irani, Pratima Bhowmik, Rameshwar Teli, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, and Rajnath Singh have already visited Bengal and have held multiple organisational meetings with the BJP leadership in the state. Other central ministers like Kiren Rijiju who is likely to tour parts of North Bengal and hold organisational meetings with the district and state leadership of the BJP in the state, and Union Civil Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is also expected to be in Kolkata on 21 July when the TMC will be celebrating their annual “Saheed Diwas”. Scindia will be in Bengal for three days and will hold a series of organisational meetings.
Sources within the BJP also said that Smriti Irani and Pratima Bhowmik could be given a larger role to play in the scheme of organisational set up for Bengal due to their roots in the state and their fluency in Bengali. “Both Smriti Irani and Pratima Bhowmik are Bengali speakers and this could be one of the greatest reasons why the Central leadership could ask both these leaders to take care of Bengal. Smriti Irani is also known to have strong organisational abilities and she can speak fluent Bengali. She recently interacted with the people of Howrah when she was here last week and that re-energised the cadre in many parts of Bengal. The Bengal BJP sees Smriti Irani as a fire-fighter lady who can take on Mamata Banerjee efficiently,” a BJP functionary from Bengal told this correspondent.
Sources from the BJP also suggested that the central BJP leadership should focus on the “Bengali sub-nationalism” that was invoked by the TMC during the 2021 Assembly polls and which benefitted the TMC and, therefore, the party should send leaders who resonate with the Bengali culture and sentiment.
The central BJP has also tasked actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty to take the organisation ahead in Bengal. Mithunda, as he is lovingly called in Bengal, is a huge crowd-puller and the BJP wants to encash upon this charisma of the actor. After this, Chakraborty was seen at the BJP headquarters in Kolkata’s Muralidhaar Sen Street where he met state president Sukanta Mazumdar earlier this month and told the media that he will start organisational works for the party soon.
Sources in the BJP have further said that Mithun Chakraborty has been tasked to control the infighting within the BJP and to ensure that the thousands of BJP karyakartas who have gone underground or have left the party are brought back to the mainstream BJP and work for the party during the Panchayat and 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
State BJP unit president Sukanta Mazumdar and organisational secretary Amitava Chakraborty also had a meeting with the top leadership of the RSS in Delhi earlier last month, where both have requested the RSS to devote more time in Bengal and to help the party strengthen its organisational capabilities in the rural and tribal areas of the state.
These developments have come at time when the Central BJP received a report some months back which portrayed a gloomy picture for the party in Bengal. According to sources, the BJP’s report from Bengal highlighted that the party was not even in the position to win five Lok Sabha seats in 2024. The BJP in 2019, won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from Bengal. Sources from the Bengal BJP further pointed out that the visit of national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the last two months have tasked them to rebuild the organisation from the booth to the state level and the new structure of the organisation would be build in the manner how the BJP organisational structure is built in states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
The BJP would also soon form booth committees and Mandal Committees in each Vidhan Sabha assembly and a Panna Pramukh would also be appointed for each booth where the responsibility of the Panna Pramukh would be to reach out to each voter of the booth that he has the responsibility of.
The Mandal Committees and the Booth Committees would also have 60 to 90 members together and they would be responsible for the overall improvement in the Booths and the Mandals.
The district organisations are also likely to be overhauled and key people are likely to be placed at the helm of the districts, replacing the dormant leaders. The district organisations have also been tasked to bring out the dormant supporters of the BJP to the fore who had gone silent after the 2021 Assembly poll results.