Wanted: A suitable face for Bengal BJP for assembly polls 

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Kolkata: As Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Bengal unit has no such formidable face to confront (Trinamool Congress) TMC Supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the assembly polls next year, the party’s national leaders will airdash to Kolkata more and stay longer to find one while strategising for saffron campaigns, sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Home Minister Amit Shah and party’s National President JP Nadda will hold more rallies ahead of 2021, and every time they will stay here for at least three days. State leaders have been instructed to searching for a house for Shah and Nadda.

According to the party sources, Shah in his last visit in the state on March 1 had instructed all the party leaders to gear up for Mission Bengal, a state crucial both in terms of number of parliamentary seats (42) as well as an Opposition stronghold. Both he and Nadda told state leaders that they along with Modi would devote more time to Bengal.

The statewide municipal polls in between April and May will witness the fresh round of the face-off as the BJP would like to surge up its electoral fortune which has dampened in last assembly bypolls after an impressive show in general election last year. Shah has set a target of wining 200 assembly seats out of 294.

Bengal BJP has two prominent faces—state president Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy. The former is a RSS man, acceptable to party’s core base for being foulmouthed to Opposition but not exactly palatable to educated middle class Bengalies. The latter was Mamata’s chief backroom strategist before switching his allegiance to the saffron side. Neither is a mass leader or a strong candidate for chief ministership in comparison to Mamata. Further, their factional feuds is no secret. Given the scenario, the state party rank and file is depending more on the national leaders, specially Modi and Shah’s visits.

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