Bengal BJP sees upcoming civic polls as opportunity to rebuild

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BJP’s Bengal unit chief Sukanta Majumdar said his party is confident of putting up an improved performance in the Kolkata and Howrah civic polls. File pic

Many nominees who were defeated in the assembly elections will be included; emphasis is also being laid on women candidates, say sources.

  • News18.com Kolkata
  • Last Updated:November 13, 2021, 08:23 IST
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After being buoyed by an impressive performance during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party has faced several electoral upsets in the state this year. The party is now pinning its hopes on the upcoming civic elections even as it is fighting internal dissension and a tussle between old and new leaders. Several leaders from Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress had switched to the BJP ahead of the April-May assembly elections this year. But after the TMC’s comprehensive victory, many of them have deserted the saffron party and some have gone back to the Trinamool.

However, in the BJP’s national executive meeting this week, the central leadership asked the state unit to fight with all its might without losing morale even in this difficult atmosphere. And so efforts are on to rebuild. The state election commission has approved the TMC government’s request to hold civic polls on December 19 in Kolkata and neighbouring Howrah. The BJP though had urged the poll body that municipal elections be held across the state simultaneously. It also asked the election commission to ensure that central forces guard all of the polling booths, accusing Trinamool of violence after the assembly polls.

According to BJP sources, a list of candidates is being prepared for the civic polls, and there would be some surprises. The attempt would be to make the list all-inclusive and assuage the concerns of all aggrieved parties. Some front-line state leaders are likely to be among the candidates. In order to boost morale, many nominees who were defeated in the assembly elections will also be included. Leaders who have fought municipal elections before and have several years of experience are at the top of the list. Emphasis is also being laid on female candidates.

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State BJP president Sukanto Majumder told News 18, “Firstly, we want the municipal elections to be held with the central forces deployed from the very beginning. It would be a farce to hand over the responsibility of election security to the state police. And it will also ensure that party workers at all levels have a special role to play in this election. They will be enthusiastic if every staff member is given special responsibility. And we are confident that this year’s result will be better than all the previous municipal elections.”

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