Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Thursday directed her party MLAs not to yield “even an inch” of political space to the BJP and take up programmes to counter BJP’s activities in their respective areas.
Addressing party MLAs at the party headquarters Trinamool Bhavan, Banerjee asked district leaders not to frequent Kolkata and ordered the legislators to form four-member teams in every area to remain abreast of developments.
Party source said during the closed door meeting, Banerjee stressed the need to effectively counter the BJP in every constituency in the run-up to the 2021 assembly polls. “Don’t yield even an inch of space to the BJP. If the BJP takes up any programme in your area, take up a programme the very next day to counter it,” a source quoted her as saying.
She asked the lawmakers to form four-member teams in every area so as to remain updated about the developments there, as also the grievances among the people. The team should comprise two booth-level workers, one social media activist and a district level functionary.
“The party would prepare a data-base of such team members with their photos and telephone numbers. The party higher-ups would directly get in touch with the team to know developments in the constituency, including grievances and misgivings of the voters,” she said.
Banerjee said the district leaders should not come to Kolkata all the time, but instead stay rooted in their districts in order to establish good mass contacts. “Spend more time in local tea stalls to understand the people’s pulse. Try to devise novel ways of mass contact,” she said.
Banerjee has been devoting much more time to the party organisation since the Lok Sabha elections, where her party suffered serious setbacks. Its seat tally came down to 22 from 34, while the BJP came up with a stunning performance bagging 18 seats. The saffron outfit had won only two seats in 2014.
In the aftermath of the polls, there has been a steady stream of defections from the Trinamool to the BJP, with a number of lawmakers, councillors and panchayat level functionaries leaving the state’s ruling party.
In recent weeks, Banerjee has met leaders of a number of districts, particularly from those areas where the BJP tasted success. She has also been interacting with various organisations of the party, as also the MPs and the defeated candidates in the Lok Sabha polls.