KOLKATA: As the BJP’s battle route for Bengal runs through Junglemahal, the erstwhile stronghold of Maoists, the saffron camp’s leadership is now focused to keep the pace that the party gained in 2018 civic polls from the region and continue an aggressive onslaught against the ruling Trinamool Congress in the backward zone.
In an attempt to strengthen the party’s organisation at grass route level, observer for West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior party leader Mukul Roy visited Jhargram on Sunday and held meeting with the district functionaries.
The mercury in Junglemahal’s politics is expected to soar ahead of 2021 Assembly elections as all mainstream political players are busy taking the tribals and electorates from other backward classes into their confidence. In addition, the presence of suspected Maoists has become visible after a nine-year silence observed by the outlawed outfit that had influenced the electoral process in the region on several occasions.
Vijayvargiya’s Jhargram visit was said to be significant because the party came to know that the support that it had got in the 2019 general elections in the region is not as solid at present as it was a year ago. "Our intra-party conflict at the ground level is one of the key reasons behind it. During state president Dilip Ghosh’s recent Junglemahal visit, two factions of party workers got involved in war or words at the venue where Ghosh attended a meeting. We fail to keep gram panchayats in Salbani and Goaltore areas under our control despite winning the 2018 elections,’’ said a BJP leader.
The saffron camp had started leaving its prominent footprint in the arena of Bengal politics from 2018 panchayat elections. Though the ruling TMC had a sweeping victory, the BJP emerged a distant second in almost all the districts. The saffron camp won more than a third of gram panchayat seats in Junglemahal’s Purulia and Jhargram districts.
Keeping its pace, the BJP secured victory in five seats located in Junglemahal in the 2019 Lok Sabha seats. "We got the dividend of TMC’s corruption. People supported us in protest against the ruling party satraps’ endless corruption depriving the poor of their rights," said another BJP leader.
In an attempt to counter BJP’s deep inroads in Junglemahal, TMC supremo included Chhatradhar Mahato, the face of Lalgarh movement in 2008-2009, in the party’s state committee.
Vijayvargiya, on Sunday, said it would not help the TMC anyway. "He was the face of the fierce movement. BJP is coming to power in Bengal and it is now just a matter of time,’’ he said.