Ahead of the crucial West Bengal assembly polls in 2021, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come up with separate cells that would maintain liaison with certain target groups.
Central leaders, including Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda, among others, who would be camping in the state in the run-up to the elections, would meet the members of these groups.
While Nadda met members of the fishermen community in South 24-Parganas on Thursday during his two day visit to the state, Shah had lunch with a Matua family in Bengal in early-November. Shah is expected to visit Bengal again next week and is likely to visit Bongaon in North 24-Parganas district, which houses the headquarters of the Matuas, a Dalit refugee group with origins in Bangladesh and spread over 50 assembly seats in the state.
Multiple cells have been formed to work with and maintain liaison with various target groups including teachers, doctors, traders, ex-servicemen, sportsmen and fishermen, among others. Each cell would have one convener and between one to six co-converners.
“As each community has its own set of issues and problems. Each cell working with a particular community would be well-versed with the developments in that community. When our central leaders come to Bengal and meet and interact with these communities these cells will maintain the liaison,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity.
Shah and Nadda are expected to visit the state separately every month till the assembly elections are over. Shah who is expected to visit the state next week could also visit Santiniketan.
Buoyed by its impressive gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections where the BJP won 40% of the vote share in Bengal and bagged 18 out of the 42 seats in the state, the party is now eyeing for the state assembly. Shah wants the BJP to bag at least 200 of 294 seats in the House.
Top state office-bearers of the party with knowledge of the development said 294 BJP leaders will be arriving in Bengal from Delhi and other states to work with the local unit for polls. They would be part of a 45-member team to be set up for each constituency; existing district committees will assist these teams, the office-bearers said.