BJP focus on Kolkata.

BJP focus on Kolkata.

BJP to launch special campaign to woo 40 seats in and around Kolkata

Rahul Gandhi to campaign in Bengal for first time on Wednesday

Agency Report | New Delhi | 13 April, 2021 | 11:00 PM

The BJP is launching a specially designed campaign focusing on 40 seats spread across the greater Kolkata region, also called the presidency area, to tell voters about its vision for the area specifically and the state in general. The party is also approaching professionals to seek their support.

According to a West Bengal BJP leader, the campaign is designed to highlight the unique features of an urban area in light of the several governance and infrastructure related issues facing the city of Kolkata. The party will be starting a massive public outreach campaign in and around Kolkata in which the saffron party will reach out to professionals like doctors, lawyers and others.

“Various national and state leaders of the party will reach out to the plethora of communities residing in Kolkata to share with them the BJP’s vision for Kolkata specifically and the state in general. In order to effectively reach out to the general public and keeping in mind the convenience of the people, this campaign will take place in the evening in easy to access areas such as housing societies and community centres, among others,” a party leader said. BJP candidate from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari and West Bengal unit co-incharge Amit Malviya held an interactive meeting with doctors.

“Addressed a gathering of doctors in Kolkata along with Adhikari. Urged them to contribute two hours per day for the next 15 days to secure Bengal’s future. Doctors have an important role in the society and now is the time for them to step up and go beyond their professional work,” Malviya tweeted after meeting the doctors.

In the run up to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP formed a separate group “Friends of BJP” to reach out to youth and professionals. The group was entrusted with the responsibility to engage the youth with the political process.

The group “Friends of BJP”, a brainchild of Union Minister Piyush Goel, then party treasurer and member of Rajya Sabha, had worked actively in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. In 2014, the group was revived and a similar campaign launched as part of the party’s ‘Mission 272+’ campaign. In the 2019 general elections, “Volunteers and professionals who had participated in the activities were not from the BJP but leaned towards the BJP,” a party leader said.

The BJP leaders will explain to voters and professionals about the party’s vision for Kolkata. “It is our vision to make Kolkata the engine of development of the state and all of Eastern India. We will bring ‘Ashol Poriborton’ to Kolkata’s cityscape by building world class infrastructure, boosting its economy, ensuring cleanliness and providing a safe environment to its residents. We will lead Kolkata towards a new era by making it the city of the future and a fitting capital of Sonar Bangla,” the leader said.

The saffron party believes that Kolkata is the cultural capital of India and has always led the way in the advancement of literature, spirituality, music and cinema. “Right from the age of Bengali renaissance, which started in Kolkata, the city has witnessed glorious changes that have uplifted the country as well. From social reforms such as abolition of the Sati Pratha, to the first steps towards women empowerment that legalised widow remarriage and the formation of the Indian National Army that fought for India’s independence, Kolkata has been the home ground for many significant movements in India’s history,” another BJP leader said.

A senior party leader said that, however, due to the neglect by the state governments of the past, the city and its people have been facing many issues on multiple fronts such as crumbling infrastructure, inadequate healthcare facilities, lack of economic growth and growing concerns around safety of women, among others.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address his first election rally in West Bengal on Wednesday ahead of the fifth phase of polling scheduled for April 17.

The Congress is contesting 12 seats in the fifth phase-out of the 44 Assembly constituencies that will go to the polls on April 17, including three seats where it had won in 2016.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address his first public meeting at the Lodhan school ground in Goalpokhar in Uttar Dinajpur district. The second public meeting will be held at the Sarojini ground in Darjeeling district, which is part of the Naxalbari Assembly constituency.

While Rahul Gandhi is a late entrant in the poll arena of West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led the BJP campaign so far in the state.

While the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are involved in a direct contest in Bengal, the Left is trying to win back its rural support, and the Congress is looking to retain its tally of 44 seats it won in the 2016 elections.

The Congress’ vote share had declined to 4 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but it still remains an important factor in some districts such as Purulia, Malda and Murshidabad. (IANS)