KOLKATA: Buoyed by its spectacular harvest in the state in the Lok Sabha elections and the continuing steady inroads into Mamata Banerjee’s turf, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is working on a plan to wrest West Bengal from the ruling Trinamool.
The battle plan includes putting in place a check and balance mechanism to draw more Trinamool leaders into its fold and build more organizational muscle to meet its broader objective of winning “at least 250 seats” in the assembly polls in 2021. The Bengal assembly seats 294 members.
“We had set a target of 23 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal and won 18. Now, we have set sights on winning 250 seats in the Assembly. We’re in the process of devising a strategy to achieve this goal,” Kalilash Vijayvargiya, BJP national general secretary and the party’s Bengal in-charge, said.
“The process of inducting Trinamool leaders, including sitting MLAs, into the BJP will be on hold for now. We’ll examine the impact (of weaning Trinamool leaders into the saffron fold) on our party workers then decide on engineering further defections,” a senior BJP leader in Kolkata said.
A decision to put the process of engineering further exodus of Trinamool leaders on hold was taken in the wake of protests by a section of BJP cadres following the induction of Trinamool MLA Monirul Islam last week.
The former MLA from Labhpur in Birbhum had courted infamy after inciting Trinamool workers to unleash violence on opponents. A section of party cadres in Birbhum erupted in protest saying they would now have share the stage with a leader who they fought against.
However, state party president Dilip Ghosh said, “It isn’t necessary that those joining the BJP will be assigned important roles.”