KOLKATA: In an attempt to intensify the reach of the recently launched Trinamool campaign Didi ke Bolo, election strategist Prashant Kishor and his IPAC (Indian Political Action Committee) team officers have been calling up party leaders in former Maoists’ strongholds asking about the implementation of the programme at ground-level.
The ruling party had made heavy inroads in the area in 2011 Assembly elections and within years, it suffered a jolt in rural polls in 2018 and lost all three seats — Midnapore, Jhargram and Purulia — in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Kishor called up Trinamool’s block president in Goaltorh, West Midnapore, Bhaskar Chakrabarty and inquired about his public relation campaign under the banner of Didi Ke Bolo, the platform with a phone number and a web-portal floated by Mamata to receive complaints and suggestions from common people.
“The caller identified himself as Prashant Kishor in Bengali and asked me what initiatives I have taken to reach the masses,’’ said Chakrabarty.
Similarly, Sebabrata Ghosh, block president of Garbeta in West Midnapore, received a call from Kishore’s IPAC team. ‘’The caller gave me a WhatsApp number and asked me to send the photographs of the campaigns that I am initiating in my area. He also suggested me to hold a press conference and inform the media about our mass-connect programmes in details,’’ he said.
Trinamool’s West Midnapore district president Ajit Maity was also contacted by Kishor’s team. ‘’Kishor is giving Jungle Mahal priority because our party received a major setback in panchayat polls and the trend continued in the Lok Sabha polls. In Goaltorh block, the BJP secured leads from 115 polling booths out of 145 in the Lok Sabha elections. The saffron camp won seven panchayat samity seats out of 25. Kishore and his team are aiming at Jungle Mahal to repair the damage,’’ said a senior Trinamool leader.
Kishor’s IPAC team managed Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial campaign with initiatives like ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ and helmed backroom manoeuvres for Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) in Bihar and YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSRC in Andhra Pradesh.