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‘Saffron surge’ in UP spurs Bengal BJP to prep early for ’18 panchayat polls

Party sources revealed that the committee will be headed by state president Dilip Ghosh, while BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha will be chief advisor and former BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya the special advisor.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
Updated: March 14, 2017 12:05:01 am

Buoyed by the party’s landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, BJP’s state unit has already begun strategising for next year’s panchayat election in Bengal. The party has decided to set up a special committee for selection of candidates in each district, which will be formed at a state committee meeting on April 23-24.

Party sources revealed that the committee will be headed by state president Dilip Ghosh, while BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha will be chief advisor and former BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya the special advisor. The committee will also include party general secretary Pratap Bandyopadhyay and general secretary (organisation) Subrata Chattopadhyay. All district presidents of BJP have been asked to finalise a list of names of probable candidates. The special committee will select candidates from this list.

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“After our huge success in UP elections, we have decided to focus on next year’s panchayat polls. We want to bring about change in Bengal and there is no better way to pave the way for this than to win in rural polls. All district presidents have been told to consult booth-level committees to start selection of candidates. In the upcoming state committee meeting, responsibilities will be given to our leaders to complete the selection process. Besides this committee, we will also set up a monitoring team for panchayat elections.”

According to party insiders, the UP win has galvanised the party leadership here to bring some “Modi Magic” to the state. It has decided to field its candidates in each seat of the three-tier polls.

“The party has been enthused by its electoral performance across the country and wants to replicate its success here. The first objective will be to field our candidates in every gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad. It will be a challenge for our candidates to contest the election braving the ruling party’s terror tactics. However, the saffron surge in other states will give us confidence to fight tooth and nail,” said a senior party leader.

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