KOLKATA: Seeking to draw lessons from its drubbing in the Delhi Assembly polls, especially in pockets home to Bengali-speaking people, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to prioritise local issues over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act while campaigning for the forthcoming municipal elections in West Bengal.
The national leadership of the party has asked its Bengali unit to identify civic issues which could be highlighted in the canvassing phase, a BJP source in Kolkata said.
“A review of our Delhi performance has revealed that we suffered badly in pockets home to Bengali-speaking community such as Karol Bagh, Chittaranjan Park, Greater Kailash and Kalkaji. We trailed AAP by huge margins in these areas. We fared poorly despite the fact that our Bengal MPs, as well as youth wing workers from the state, had campaigned extensively in these areas in support of CAA. The results clearly show that our effort came to naught. Our national leadership has now directed to us to build our municipal poll campaign around local issues,” a senior BJP leader said.
“Voters in semi-urban areas are playing into fears being spread around the CAA and NRC. This is a direct fallout of the ruling party’s (TMC’s) misleading campaign. We have been asked to raise local issues and build pressure on the ruling party. We have to identify the civic amenities that people are being deprived of. While we’ll raise the CAA in our campaign, it won’t figure among the big talking points,” he added.
As many 112 municipalities will go to polls in the state.
However, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the party would felicitate Union Home Minister Amit Shah for bringing the Citizenship Act into force on his visit to Kolkata on March 1.
“We’re yet to select the venue but we’ll felicitate him for the CAA,” Ghosh said.