As BJP mounts Bengal challenge, Mamata launches outreach plan
In order a bid to revive its public contact programme, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal is launching a ‘Tell Didi’ campaign aimed at reconnecting with the masses, a large of which voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.
As a part of the campaign Banerjee announced launch of telephone number (9137091370) and a website (www.didikebolo.com) on Monday wherein people can get in touch with her and share their grievances.
“We already have a grievance redressal cell at the chief minister’s office. We are merely strengthening and extending the mechanism with Didike Bolo program,” Banerjee said before convening a meeting of the party MLAs at Nazrul Mancha in Kolkata. She also said the party’s organisational structure will be revamped.
BJP leaders reacted by saying that Trinamool Congress was copying their strategy. Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh said, “Banerjee is trying to implement ideas given by political strategist Prashant Kishor whom she has roped in for a hefty fee. These new policies prove that she has become bankrupt as far as popularity is concerned.” Challenged by the Bharatiya Janata Party that won as many as 18 seats of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, marking a nine-fold rise over its 2014 tally of two seats, Banerjee has been trying to cobble together a strategy to regain her support base in Bengal.
Didike Bolo comes close on the heels of Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim launching a toll-free telephone number on which he remains available once every week. On Monday, Banerjee also launched a ‘Gramey Chalo’ (go to the villages) programme for the party’s elected public representatives and leaders.
“1,000 elected public representatives will have to visit 10,000 villages in the coming 100 days, speak to the locals and civil society personalities, have food at the residence of a booth-level party worker, spend the night and hoist the party’s flag the next day before leaving,” Banerjee said.