Amit Shah advices Bengal BJP to be ‘Aatmanirbhar’ ahead of polls

Kolkata: Before leaving for Delhi after completion of his two-day visit to West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday outlined the strategy to be adopted for the forthcoming panchayat elections and next year’s Lok Sabha polls by the state unit of the BJP.

According to party sources, of the many pieces of advice given by Shah, the main is that the party’s state leadership should be more self-reliant by bridging the organisational gaps and shed excessive dependence on the BJP high-command.

Party insiders said that the Home Minister has specifically asked the BJP to start the process of strengthening the booth-level committees and reactivating the defunct ones before the panchayat polls scheduled this year.

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“Amit Shah has clearly said that if the process starts from the panchayat polls, the goal of having a full-fledged and strong booth-level network will be completed before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” said a state committee member of the BJP.

While admitting that Shah has outlined the strategy to be adopted for the forthcoming polls, BJP’s state unit chief and Lok Sabha member Sukanta Majumdar, however, refused to reveal the details of the discussions held with the Home Minister.

“These are closed-door affairs and cannot be revealed to the media,” Majumdar said.

Meanwhile, party sources said that although Shah is not against roping in leaders and workers from other parties, he has clearly instructed that only individuals with an overall clean-image should be allowed entry into the BJP.

“Shah has also specifically said that the state BJP leadership should ensure that they get maximum mileage from the growing grievances of the people against the state government and the ruling Trinamool Congress, besides ensuring that the Left Front-Congress alliance does not get the advantage of the anti-incumbency factor,” the state committee member said.

As per party sources, Shah also said that clean image, loyalty to the party and acceptability among the people should be the primary considerations in selecting candidates for the forthcoming panchayat polls.

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