TMC to keep tabs on 5 BJP central leaders deputed to Bengal ahead of polls
TMC Rajya Sabha chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Roy labelled the 5 BJP central leaders as “outsiders” and insisted that the people of Bengal will spurn the saffron party.Updated: Nov 19, 2020, 00:13 IST
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is keeping a close watch on the movements and activities of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) five central leaders who are in the state to evaluate organizational strengths and weaknesses of the district units in south and north Bengal ahead of the assembly polls due in about five months.
TMC’s district leaders said that every movement of Sunil Deodhar, Dushyant Gautam, Vinod Tawde, Harish Dwivedi and Vinod Sonkar are being watched by party workers and feedback is being sent to leaders in Kolkata. The five BJP leaders have been put in charge of different organizational zones in Bengal. They started holding internal meetings from Wednesday morning.
“This brigade of outsiders that is coming to Bengal to capture power will be fought back by people of the state. We are confident about that. These people have no idea about the culture, history and heritage of Bengal,” TMC Rajya Sabha chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“We have to keep a close watch on these outsiders. We have to find out if they are here to create communal trouble, divide people or, indulge in horse trading. Our workers have been asked to be on the alert,” said Roy. “Our workers have been told to put up resistance if any effort is made to create trouble,” he added.
“These people are living in a fool’s paradise. They think winning 18 Lok Sabha seats (in 2019) is equal to winning the assembly polls. Voting patterns in Lok Sabha and assembly polls are quite different,” said Roy.
To stop divisions in its ranks prior to the polls, the TMC is also making efforts to pacify rebel transport minister Suvendu Adhikari who will address a big rally at Ramnagar in East Midnapore on Thursday where he is likely to announce his next course of action. He has kept the party guessing by avoiding all political programmes, government events and cabinet meetings in the last two months.
This led to speculations that he might join the BJP.
Two senior TMC Lok Sabha members, Saugata Roy and Sudip Bandopadhyay, are in touch with Adhikari. Roy even held a meeting with him on Monday night. To maintain secrecy, Adhikari reached the venue in a different car and without his security personnel. Both the MPs refused to comment on the issue.
On Wednesday, Adhikari addressed a rally organised by people associated with the co-operative movement. To the relief of TMC leaders, he did not make any controversial statement and did not even refer to the party.
Senior TMC leaders told HT last week that Adhikari is unhappy with the chief minister’s nephew and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee and election strategist Prashant Kishor for making the recent organizational changes and wants the party to field candidates of his choice at 65 assembly seats spread across several districts.
TMC leaders said that various programmes are being undertaken by the party to reach out to voters physically and through the social media.
The TMC’s information technology cell recently started an interactive campaign where people can mark themselves “safe from the BJP.” The campaign has crossed the one million mark, the party has claimed. Later this month, another campaign will start to showcase performances of the TMC government. It will be named Bangadhwani (the call of Bengal).