With an eye on West Bengal election due in April-May 2021, the BJP has divided the state into five organisational zones and put central leaders in charge of them, party sources said.
Senior BJP leaders Sunil Deodhar, Vinod Tawde, Dushyant Gautam, Harish Dwivedi and Vinod Sonkar have been handpicked by the party top brass to head the five organisational zones in the state.
The five organisational zones are northern Bengal, Rarh Banga (south-western districts), Nabadwip, Midnapore and Kolkata, sources said.
The leadership of the party announced the decision following a high-level organisational meeting held in Kolkata in the presence of BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy and state president Dilip Ghosh were present at the meeting, the sources said.
“These five leaders will talk to office-bearers, party leaders and cadres on organisational issues in their respective zones,” Ghosh told reporters after the meeting.
The party has given Deodhar, who was one of the prime architects of the party’s victory in Tripura two years ago, the charge of Midnapore zone, a region where the party made deep inroads in the last Lok Sabha election.
The region is mainly populated by tribal and backward communities.
Dushyant Gautam, BJP national general secretary, will be in-charge of Kolkata region.
National secretary Harish Dwivedi and Vinod Sonkar have been put in charge of north Bengal and Rarh Banga regions respectively.
The saffron party has made deep inroads in north Bengal, once considered a Indian National Congress bastion (INC) and then of the TMC, bagging seven out of the eight Lok Sabha seats in the region in 2019 general election.
Northern Bengal, which comprises eight districts, accounts for 54 of the total 294 assembly seats. BJP national secretary Vinod Tawde has been assigned to look after the Nawadwip region.
The party has made Amit Malviya the co-incharge of the state. This IT cell head of the BJP will look after the social media campaign of the party.
According to local sources of the party, the decision to bring in so many senior leaders in the state proves that Bengal will be the prime focus of the BJP.
“Amit Shah ji is likely to visit later this month. This time he will be visiting north Bengal. The dates are yet to be finalised,” a senior state BJP leader said.
Shah had paid a two-day visit to the state from 5 November to take stock of the party’s organisation.
Meanwhile, former CPI(M) councillor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) area Rinku Naskar joined the BJP yesterday.
After having a limited presence in the politically polarised state for decades, BJP has emerged as the main rival of the ruling Trinamool Congress after winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the 2019 general election.
With BJP’s strength increasing in the state in the last few years, party leaders have exuded confidence that it will be able to end Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s 10-year rule in the 2021 assembly election.