KOLKATA: Trinamool’s election strategist, Prashant Kishor told the party that its political fate in the upcoming 2021 Assembly elections will depend on the party’s performance in 60 seats reserved for scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST).
A report submitted by Kishor and his team after surveying 294 Assembly constituencies said retaining the 58 seats out of 84 reserved for SC and ST would be crucial for Trinamool’s political future in Bengal.
The report highlighted how the BJP secured leads from the Assembly seats reserved for SC and ST candidates across the state, ousting the ruling party’s erstwhile invincible bastion in north Bengal.
“Other than corruption among the party satraps, the elected representatives from the reserved seats failed to maintain their ground-level connection. As a result, the SC and ST voters refused to recognise the elected MLAs as their representatives. It triggered a mass exodus to the saffron camp,’’ the report mentioned.
Three months after the Lok Sabha results were announced, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had convened a meeting with all SC and ST MLAs.
The first such meeting became a talking point in political circles.
Trinamool sources said the party had fared poorly in areas dominated by SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha polls and the meeting was a fall out of that.
Realising the party’s MLAs failure and corruption among the local leaders, Mamata launched a mass outreach drive, Didi Ke Bolo (Tell Your Sister), to control the damage.
The survey by Kishore and team, revealed at many seats BJP could not secure its victory but the saffron camp bagged the votes of SCs.
“Kishor in his report mentioned that if we can retain our 58 Assembly seats by winning hearts of SCs and STs, it will benefit us in other unreserved seats as well and we will get supports of scheduled caste electors,’’ said a senior Trinamool leader.
BJP workers not content with Kharagpur candidate
BJP workers and leaders in Kharagpur contacted their state leadership and expressed their discontent over the candidate fielded by the party to contest the Assembly by-elections in Kharagpur (Sadar) constituency, said a source in the saffron camp.
Many mandal presidents and other leaders turned up at the party’s headquarters in Kolkata in past one week and explained the unhappiness among the ground-level workers.