Kolkata: Having sprung a “surprise” in north Bengal in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP is now focusing on the south Bengal districts of East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly, the epicentre of its “parivartan” plan.
The four districts are crucial for Bengal BJP in the wake of recent activities by rebel Trinamool leader Suvendu Adhikari, who is keeping all camps guessing about his future course.
BJP has divided Bengal into five organizational zones — north Bengal, Rarh Bengal, Kolkata, Nabadwip, and one comprising Howrah, Hooghly and the two Midnapores — and put a national-level leader in charge of each of these zones. All these national-level organizers will prepare a report by November-end and submit it to BJP national president J P Nadda. The report will be all about the party’s booth-level outreach.
The decision was taken in the presence of BJP national general secretary B L Santosh, who held an organizational meeting of Bengal BJP at its Hastings office on Tuesday. The new co-in-charge of Bengal BJP, Amit Malviya, and party leader Arvind Menon attended the meeting, apart from state unit seniors Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy and district presidents.
According to BJP sources, Union home minister Amit Shah may undertake a visit this time of north Bengal after he gets the report. Shah was scheduled to visit north Bengal in October.
The BJP brass has assigned its trusted lieutenant and Bengali-speaking national secretary, Sunil Deodhar, to oversee party activities in the four crucial districts. Deodhar had successfully led the BJP brigade to power in former Left-ruled Tripura.
BJP MP Dushyant Gautam, who was in charge of Uttarakhand polls, will oversee the Kolkata zone comprising Kolkata, and North and South 24 Parganas. The party’s Haryana in-charge, Vinod Tawde, will look after Nabadwip zone and national secretary Harish Dwivedi will take charge of the north Bengal zone, where BJP needs to consolidate its gain in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The five-member team’s primary responsibility would be to assess BJP’s outreach in booths, particularly in south Bengal. Shah has already run a survey by an independent agency about the status of assembly seats in Bengal.
“Their primary responsibility will be to push the party’s network to 76,000 booths across the state. They will assess strengths and weaknesses in each assembly constituency and send a report to J P Nadda. A seva karya abhiyan will be decided, based on that,” said a Bengal BJP leader.
Last month, a report was submitted to the BJP brass pointing to internal bickering leading to a “disconnect” between leaders and grassroots workers in some pockets. “The feedback has prompted national leaders to micro-monitor party activities,” said the BJP leader.