Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will embark on a five-day trip to East and West Midnapore districts Monday to chair administrative review meetings and public meetings. Sources said she has made it a priority to first visit areas where BJP performed well in the last panchayat polls.
Mamata will start her tour by addressing a public meeting at Keshiary, West Midnapore district, on Monday. In the last panchayat polls, which were held in May. In the Keshiary block panchayat samiti, BJP had won 13 of 25 seats and a majority in 9 gram panchayats. The party’s success here had spurred the ruling TMC to overhaul its district party leadership. On Sunday, local BJP workers held a protest rally against the government and TMC for preventing them from forming boards in areas where they had majority.
The other motive: Wake-up call for non-performers
The administrative review meetings held across the districts in the state have become a platform for the chief minister to crack whip on non-performing party leaders and government officials. With these meetings being broadcast live on television, the forum is being used to remind the officials and party cadres about their responsibilities. With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections round the corner, sources say that these meetings will become very useful for the state government and the ruling party. “Fifty per cent of the administrative preparations are done through these meetings. All government officials in the districts are kept on their toes and they are asked to complete all pending works. Ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha polls, the chief minister will hold more such meetings in every district,” the source said.
“Under such circumstances, Mamata Banerjee’s visit here assumes significance as she does not want any further erosion in her party’s support base. She will make efforts to arrest the BJP’s momentum here, which has been possible because some local leaders did not do their duties properly. Our party supremo is likely send a strong message to the district leadership and also target the BJP for dividing the people here along religious lines,” said a senior party leader.
Last week, Mamata had held an administrative review meet and public meetings in Purulia district, which also witnessed a significant rise in support for the saffron party since panchayat polls.
After her visit to Keshiary, the chief minister will chair an administrative meeting in Midnapore town on December 4. The day after that, she will leave for East Midnapore district to hold a public meeting at Bajkul. On December 6, she is scheduled to hold a meeting at the sea-side resort town, Digha.