Battered Bengal BJP focusing on rejuvenation plan to turn its fortunes

Ahead of the 2021 assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party had announced that it would bring “Parivartan” (change) in West Bengal. However, despite the better performance, it could win only 77 seats out of 294, with the Trinamool Congress registering a thumping victory.

According to BJP insiders, the party workers and leaders faced violence allegedly at the behest of the ruling TMC and it was a tough time for the saffron outfit.

Also, top leaders like Mukul Roy and Arjun Singh, who had walked out of the Trinamool before the elections, gradually withdrew after the results. Party sources say that the morale of the BJP had gone down.

Analysts say that even a section of TMC workers began to think that the BJP had lost focus on Bengal.

But after a massive victory in Uttar Pradesh this year, the BJP seems to be trying to revive itself in Bengal. Senior leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had visited North Bengal for three days in May to energize the cadres. A BJP MLA from the area said, “Now it is feeling like 2017 again. Booth empowerment program has started. The leaders of Delhi have started coming. We want to make a fresh start now.

BJP has started a program under which its central leaders are going to every state. Under this, Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Pratima Bhowmik are focusing on Bengal. As per the plan, each leader would have three days at a time during which they would hold organizational meetings. Central leaders like Kiran Rijju will participate in these programs.

From repeatedly demanding a CBI probe to aggressively campaigning online, the BJP suddenly seems to be gaining momentum in West Bengal. Observers say this clearly shows that the party is in no mood to leave Bengal and is trying to build its strength which will help the visits of central leaders.

Local leaders feel that the scheme has at least three benefits. Those working at the grassroot level will get an idea of ​​what the BJP is paying attention to in Bengal right now. Second, central monitoring can reduce factionalism in the local unit. Third, the party seems to be trying to learn from its mistakes. Insiders say that this kind of focus and commitment was seen in the Bengal unit around and after 2016.

However, TMC sources say that all these activities will not have any effect on the people of Bengal.

Around 2017, BJP leaders used to visit cadres’ residences and have meals with them. Smriti Irani repeated the same exercise recently.

“I went to Howrah and found that the people there want the Prime Minister’s house but they are not getting it. Imagine what is happening,” she said.

Panchayat elections will be held in West Bengal in 2023 followed by Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The BJP is hoping that the new strategy will provide enough momentum to influence voters in its favor and gain land in the state.

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