Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published: June 9, 2020 6:04:03 am
Shah had held a similar virtual rally in Bihar on Sunday, which is set for Vidhan Sabha polls later this year, and in Odisha on Monday. (File Photo)
The party’s cadre in West Bengal disheartened due to “consistent hostile treatment” by the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP is looking at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s virtual address on Tuesday to reinvigorate its local workers, and also set a narrative over the state government’s “failures” in containing coronavirus pandemic and addressing the situation after the Amphan cylone.
Shah’s address would reach live at 70,000 polling booths across West Bengal, and the BJP’s overseas units would help reach it to Bengalis abroad, party leaders said.
West Bengal is scheduled to hold Assembly polls next year.
BJP general secretary and the party’s West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya told The Indian Express: “Amit Shah’s message would reach 1 crore people, including 10 lakh families, and energise the cadre. The state government and the ruling party have been harassing them continuously — they did not let us work among the people to help them during Covid-19 and the cyclone ravage. It will uplift their (cadre’s) confidence.”
According to sources, the party has assessed that a large section of the state’s voters, especially those from the upper strata, are “very upset and disappointed” at the way the Mamata Banerjee government has handled the twin crises. “We want to build up a narrative on the basis of that. We have to inform voters how badly the government failed,” a source in BJP said.
With Shah, the former party president, set to also speak on the issue of “Atmanirbhar Bharat (selif-reliant India)” in the post-lockdown situation, the source said, “The message of Atmanirbhar Bharat would have a special meaning for Bengal, because this is where the Swadeshi movement started with vigour.”
Both BJP and the TMC blame each other over the handling of the Covid-19 situation in the state. Banerjee has repeatedly accused the BJP-led Union government of using the pandemic for politics, and to “bulldoze” the country’s federal structure. The BJP, in turn, has accused the TMC government of not allowing the saffron party’s leaders and volunteers to do relief work during the two crises.
Shah had held a similar virtual rally in Bihar on Sunday, which is set for Vidhan Sabha polls later this year, and in Odisha on Monday.
A party leader pointed out that the BJP has recently announced a new team, and there would be new interest for the messages and the narrative the party is setting. The party’s Bengal unit chief, Dilip Ghosh, has announced names of BJP’s new state leadership –12 vice-presidents, five general secretaries, and 10 secretaries – in a major rejig ahead of next year’s Vidhan Sabha elections.
The BJP’s ‘Save Bengal’ unit has got in touch with Bengalis living in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Singapore, among other countries, to log in and listen to Shah’s message on Tuesday. Animesh Biswas, coordinator of Save Bengal team, said Shah’s speech will “highlight the failure of the West Bengal government during Covid-19 and Amphan calamity. These have exposed the total mishandling of administration by the Mamata Banerjee government and her ministers.”
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