KOLKATA: The BJP leaders in West Bengal will not be holidaying during the major festival of the state -- Durga Puja -- but working hard to woo the people as directed by party president Amit Shah. After winning two Lok Sabha seats and an Assembly seat and the electoral swing in its favour leading to 17 per cent votes in the general elections, the saffron brigade is upbeat. Majority of the Bengalis all over the world will be celebrating and seeking the goddess’ blessings. Even a large number of Bengali speaking Muslims also participate in the five day-long festivities, from Tuesday to Saturday.
The party has chalked out a well thought out plan to increase its interaction with the masses and spread its influence. Along with the BJP workers the RSS too will pitch in to reach out to the people with an aim to attract the youngsters during the festival.
After Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, the BJP’s singer-turned MP Babul Supriyo is the most sought after politician to inaugurate puja mandals. Unlike Mamata, Babul also has to sing at several cultural functions.
The party has directed all its district units to mobilise workers to fan out to even remote areas and begin its campaign for the state Assembly polls, scheduled for 2016, by setting up book stalls where they can interact withn the people and hold discussions to propagate the party’s philosophy.
The BJP will set up around 3,700 book stalls in the state compared to 1,800 last year. There will be 840 stalls in and around the metropolis itself. “We have asked all party wings and cells to reach out to the people during Durga Puja. We will set up stalls in many places. I myself will be busy inaugurating a number of Durga Pujas in the city and various districts,” said BJP state president Rahul Sinha. He is going to inaugurate 40 Pujas across the state.
Newly elected BJP MLA from Basirhat Dakshin in North 24 Parganas Shamik Bhattacharya is most sought after Babul. He has received innumerable invitations from all over the state being the first BJP leader to win independently without any alliance in West Bengal.
“Even under this reign of terror, the upsurge of the BJP has created a new political chemistry in West Bengal. During the pujas our main goal will be to target the youth, who are disillusioned with the Marxists and TMC’s corruption, and bring them over to our fold. We will carry out Shah’s directive on field,” Bhattacharya said.BJP state spokesman Ritesh Tewari, who had contested the Chowringhee Assembly bypoll said, “A newcomer like me has received over a dozen invitations from my constituency. I am surprised that so many puja committees are flocking to our fold”. Having secured 17 per cent votes in the Lok Sabha elections, up from six per cent in 2009, securing lead in 24 Assembly segments and finishing second in 26 more segments, the BJP is certainly upbeat on its prospects in West Bengal with the party focused on winning the 2016 Assembly polls.