The BJP’s West Bengal unit has asked the national leadership for six Union Ministers to launch its campaign in the state ahead of the Assembly polls due next year.
At a meeting of West Bengal BJP’s core committee on Wednesday, state leaders, including the party’s general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, asked the national leadership to send Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Prahlad Patel, Narendra Singh Tomar, Dharmendra Pradhan and Kiren Rijijju to the state for a party campaign.
Party sources said the ministers will campaign for about one-and-a-half months and then the party will hold a meeting to decide the next course of action.
While Irani is fluent in Bangla, Pradhan is likely to focus on areas closer to Odisha; Rijiju will campaign in the areas near northeastern states and Tomar is expected to counter the Opposition’s campaign against the farm bills.
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“Since West Bengal has a wide network of railways, Goyal can be influential too and Patel would fit in our election narrative focused on culture and youth,” said a source.
Party leaders who attended the meeting said the BJP would soon embark on a massive campaign in the state that will focus on the “political killing, murder of democracy and the lawlessness in the state”.
Putting up a united face
In the faction-ridden Bengal unit of the BJP, the party leadership will be looking to launch an aggressive campaign to put up a united face ahead of the election. With BJP leaders admitting that hostility from the state government and the ruling party has affected the cadre adversely, getting on to a full-time campaign mode is important.
The party’s narrative, sources said, would be that the Trinamool Congress is trying to change the cultural and social character of West Bengal. The BJP has also been accusing the Trinamool of indulging in appeasement politics to woo the Muslim support base, which they say includes illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The party has sought the intervention of Home Minister Amit Shah against the “radicalisation” of the youth in the state, saying that the state’s ruling party is trying to turn the state into a “breeding ground for terrorism”.
On October 8, BJP’s youth wing Yuva Morcha will hold a protest rally in Kolkata against the Mamata Banerjee government, party sources said.
“The party has decided to launch an aggressive campaign against Mamata Banerjee’s attempts to mislead the farmers in West Bengal over the farm Bills. Despite being in a constitutional position, the Chief Minister is trying to spread misinformation against the Bill which is against Constitutional principles and is a criminal activity,” Vijayvargiya told The Indian Express.
The party has also decided to approach the High Court, seeking a CBI probe into all the killings that have taken place in the state in the past few months. “The state government and the police have not been recognising these deaths as political murders and are registering them as suicides or accidents,” said a party leader.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 18 of the state’s 42 seats, increasing its tally from two in the 2014 election.
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