To take stock of the party’s election preparedness, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav is likely to head to Bengal on Sunday for a short visit. According to party sources, Yadav, a trusted aide of home minister Amit Shah, has been specifically tasked with the job of stock-taking of how prepared the party is, and has meetings lined up with teams working on IT, election commission coordination, and publicity in the state.
Known for his grasp of ground issues, Yadav played a crucial role in the fiercely contested elections of Gujarat 2017, Bihar 2021 and UP 2017 and Lok Sabha polls of 2019. He is also seen as a unifying figure who can reach out to leaders currently taking care of the states, a party leader said.
Additionally, the party has drawn up a list of around 22 leaders that include Dharmendra Pradhan, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Satish Upadhyay, Aashish Shelar, Arvind Bhadoria and Nitin Nabin, and others who are being deputed to take care of certain key constituencies, mostly difficult seats. Each of them has been given at least five seats and has been asked to start making visits to the state.
Largely confident of the 56 seats in North Bengal where the BJP has shown good electoral results, it is the over 230 seats in South Bengal that the BJP is working on to increase its tally.
A party functionary said these leaders will not only coordinate with the Centre on tackling issues on the ground but will also address last-minute organisational problems, disagreements and report accurate feedback back to the national team. They will also speak with old-timers of the party, identify key issues in every seat and look at solving them. Over the last six months, a large number of TMC workers have also shifted to the BJP.
“The election is as important as UP 2017 or Lok Sabha 2019 so the party is putting in every effort possible. There are multiple meetings and discussions to find out the best way forward,” another party functionary said. Earlier too, the party had sent ministers such as Prahlad Patel, Sanjiv Baliyan, Gajendra Shekhawat, Mansukh Mandavia to help local leaders in strengthening the booth-level organisation and address problems being faced by them in every seat.