Aggressive booth-level campaigning, monthly visits of top leaders: BJP devises elaborate strategy for its 'Mission Bengal'
Senior party leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who might visit the state every month till elections are held, has set a detailed 23-point to-do list for every booth.
NEW DELHI: From recruiting workers from reserved categories of society for every polling booth to painting the party's symbol lotus at various locations and staying in touch with priests and people from cooperative societies and self help groups in near neighbourhood -- the BJP has devised a booth-level strategy with stress on minute details to wrest power from the TMC in West Bengal.
Senior party leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who might visit the state every month till elections are held, has set a detailed 23-point to-do list for every booth to ensure the BJP's victory in West Bengal, where it has never been in power, sources said.
The BJP state unit leaders have been asked to divide all the polling booths into four categories -- A, B, C, D -- and form committees on basis of social configuration of the respective polling area, the sources said.
Workers have been asked to improve the category of their booths from D to C, C to B and so on, and have been assigned various tasks including recruiting at least 20 people from SC, ST and OBC sections of the society, organising at least six party programmes, making arrangements for people to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Mann Ki Baat and others.
Staying in contact with all possible influences in every polling booth such as priests of temples, saints of religious organisations, office bearers of cooperative banks and dairy, elected sarpanchs and those who lost panchayat elections are also an integral part of the BJP's test and tried booth strategy.
With an aim to make the BJP's presence felt in every neighbourhood and its campaign reach every voter, the local party workers have been asked to paint at least five locations in every polling booth area with BJP's election symbol, identify five party workers with motor cycles and make locals and party workers download the Namo App in their mobiles.
It has also instructed the party workers to collect booth-wise data of results of last assembly and Lok Sabha elections which will help them in devising the strategy for their respective booths, the sources said.
The BJP is trying its booth level tested and tried strategy in West Bengal where polls are scheduled to be held early next year.
The party has emerged as the main challenger to the ruling TMC, winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections with more than 40 per cent of total votes.
The BJP has kick-started its campaign for the assembly elections slated for early next year and is challenging the Trinamool Congress at the hustings with the new slogan of "Ei baar Bangla, parle samla (Now it's Bengal's turn, hold on to it if you can)", party's state unit chief Dilip Ghosh told PTI, referring to the recent victory of the NDA in Bihar polls.
In this election in West Bengal it will be a direct fight between the BJP and the TMC, he said, dubbing both the Left parties and the Congress as a spent force.
Hinting at defections of TMC leaders to his party ahead of the polls, Ghosh said that even leaders of the Mamata Banerjee-led party are feeling suffocated and looking for "oxygen of freedom", whereas the BJP is a democratic party with "a number of oxygen cylinders".
Ghosh said that for effective management of the party's campaign, the BJP has divided the state in five zones -- Medinipur, north Bengal, Kolkata, Nabadwip and Rahr Bongo -- on the basis of local issues and their characteristics.
The party has expanded its footprint in the state and now has presence in over 65,000 (or over 83 per cent) polling booths out of the total 78,000, he said.
National party leaders, including J P Nadda and Amit Shah, will visit the state every month, he said.
"Amit Shah-ji is expected to visit the state every month and his presence will boost the morale of party workers," he added.
Though the BJP has a marginal presence in the Assembly, it has emerged as the main challenger to the TMC in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, pushing aside the Left parties and the Congress.
It won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four less that the TMC's 22.
The party has now focused on winning the state from the TMC.
Election to the 294-member state assembly is scheduled to be held in the first half of 2021.