KOLKATA:“Face bullets and batons, struggle and sacrifice if you want to capture power in West Bengal and achieve Mission 2016.” This is the message of the BJP central observers for West Bengal to its state leaders to gear up for the state Assembly polls due next year.
During the one-day ‘chintan baithak’ at a luxury resort at Raichak, the central BJP leaders cracked the whip on Bengal leaders, who failed to capitalise on the growing discontent against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress Government.
A delegate told Express: “The message was clear in no uncertain terms . They said we have to face bullets and batons and organise mass movements. They cited the CPM’s recent march to the State Secretariat at Nabanna. We don’t support the form of Marxists’ agitation but such political passion is needed.”
One of the central party leaders, Ramlal, went a step ahead to say, “You cannot confine yourselves to air-conditioned rooms and think of your family alone. You have to learn to sacrifice, take to the streets and start agitation.”
The state leaders were told to bury their differences and appreciate the role of newcomers like film stars Rupa Ganguly and Locket Chatterjee. A section of the oldguard in the state BJP has been resenting the sudden popularity of Rupa, who has always been rushing to spots where party workers were being attacked by the TMC workers, naturally hogging the limelight.
Without naming anyone, BJP’s new point man for West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “New entrants to the party should be given due importance. Don’t forget that a two-year-old saal tree is more valuable than a 20-year-old tamarind tree!”
Both Rupa and Locket were given additional responsibility to tour the state as the saffron party wanted to exploit their popularity as film stars.
The state leaders were asked to welcome leaders from either the TMC or Left parties with clean image. They were also directed to get in touch with “rebel and expelled TMC leaders” in particular because of their expertise in electioneering.
All state level BJP leaders have been directed to spend at least a week in the districts to gear up the outfit. Vijaibargiya told state BJP president Rahul Sinha to retire such leaders, who would not spend time in the rural areas by staying put in the city.
Like ‘Team Modi’before the 2014 LS polls, the party formed ‘Team West Bengal’ to combat the TMC and the Left parties during the polls. The team will chalk out a detailed strategy and begin agitations and movements against the state government immediately after the Durga Puja in mid-October.