The CM’s move is meant to woo the Hindi-speaking electorate in the state.

 

With less than five months to go for the general elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who sees herself as the next Prime Minister of the country, has directed Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadre to use Hindi across the party’s social media platforms to secure a pan-India appeal ahead of the 2019 polls.

“We have received direction from our senior leaders and party president Mamata Banerjee to use Hindi on social media platform to attract the Hindi-speaking electorate of the state,” a source in the TMC told The Sunday Guardian.

According to political observers, Banerjee’s decision to focus on Hindi is meant to woo the Hindi speaking electorate in the state and the move is being seen as a step taken to counter the increasing presence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.

Trinamool Congress sources said that Banerjee was worried about the upcoming “Rathyatra” planned by the BJP which will start on 7 December and will cover the entire state. The sudden love for Hindi is being seen as a step that she has been forced to take to counter the BJP’s “Rath Yatra” move.

The social media wing of the party has been instructed to put regular updates in Hindi through its social media platforms.

The digital wing has also been asked to promote the welfare of the Hindi-speaking population of the state and to post such matters in Hindi.

TMC spokesperson Mohua Mitra told this correspondent that the digital wing of the party is taken care of by Derek O’Brien and he would be able to comment on this story. Derek O’Brien could not be contacted.

The Bengal unit of the BJP has criticised this move of the TMC, stating that this was a new divisive trend initiated by the TMC in which it was trying to divide the people of the state on the basis of language.

Sayantan Basu, general secretary, BJP, West Bengal, told The Sunday Guardian, “The TMC has now started to divide the people of Bengal on the basis of language. The BJP does not believe in such kind of politics. Every individual of Bengal is equal for us and we strongly condemn such kind of parochial politics in the state.”

West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats and there are at least 14% Hindi speakers in the state.

According to census 2011, Bengal has at least 64 lakh Hindi-speaking voters, while the total count of non-Bengali voters is over 1.5 crore. In Bengal, there are at least 10-14 parliamentary constituencies, where the Hindi speaking electorate can play a decisive role in general elections.

 

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