The state is witnessing seven phased polling on its 42 Lok Sabha seats and the BJP has set a target of 22 seats in the state
New Delhi: In West Bengal, a strong parallel campaigning system on the social media and a dedicated force of “probasis” are assisting the BJP in taking on the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and “negating the perception” that the saffron party is only for the “Hindi heartland”. In a state where the BJP’s campaign is highlighting Ms Banerjee’s alleged appeasement politics and how she “deprived Bengal” of the Central government’s schemes, more than 3,000 WhatsApp groups are being run by its volunteers alone across the state.
Most of these volunteers are from far off places from the capital Kolkata and are running several WhatsApp groups circulating BJP leaders’ messages and “news” of how the TMC led government is “killing democracy” in the state by unleashing violence on its opponents. The team of “probasi Bengalis” is also assisting the BJP by “connecting Bengalis” across India to support the party. Some of these ‘probasi Bengalis’ who are part of BJP’s ‘Save Bengal’ campaign, have also been campaigning in the state.
The state is witnessing seven phased polling on its 42 Lok Sabha seats and the BJP has set a target of 22 seats in the state. It had won only two seats in the last Lok Sabha polls but West Bengal, along with Odisha and some southern states, have been the main focus areas of the BJP under party chief Amit Shah’s leadership.
The popularity of these WhatApp groups is so much that the party “prefers” circulating messages through these volunteers, who feel “connected” with the BJP and its leadership. A BJP leader, closely associated with its ‘Save Bengal’ campaign, said most volunteers want to join the party, but remain anonymous as the state has been witnessing violent attacks on the supporters of ruling TMC’s opponents.
While the BJP main campaign strategy was strengthening the organisation in the state and ending the “disconnect” between its leaders and cadre to increase its presence, senior BJP leaders like Shivprakash and Kailash Vijayvargiya also relied on increasing the social media network.
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