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BJP launches ‘Mission 2016’

Calcutta, June 8: The Bengal BJP today launched “Mission 2016” — the party’s blueprint for the Assembly elections that includes putting pressure on the state government, building a strong support base and setting up an RTI cell to collect information on the status of projects.

The programme will begin on June 23 with a “Bangla banchao” rally in Calcutta, which will be followed by a district-wide agitation against the TET controversy.

“District leaders have been asked to collect information on the fate of central and state-funded development projects. If the state fails to implement projects, the district leaders will have to highlight it,” said Siddharth Nath Singh, the deputy observer of the BJP in Bengal.

“Our leaders at various levels will not rest till we have a Trinamul-free Bengal. They will get all support from the Centre,” he added on the sidelines of the concluding day of the BJP’s state executive committee meeting in Calcutta today.

Party leaders said the BJP was aiming at winning at least 150 seats in the Bengal Assemble polls in 2016. Senior leaders have been told to draw attention to the “fact” that had there not been “rigging”, the BJP’s vote share in Bengal would have been 27 per cent in the Lok Sabha elections. The party bagged around 18 per cent of the votes.

As part of “Mission 2016”, the state BJP will set up an RTI cell immediately to seek information on the progress of projects in Bengal and the funding pattern.

The information collected by the cell will be passed on to the districts’ leadership so that protests can be launched against the Trinamul government. Efforts will simultaneously be made to woo youths in the 18-28 age group.

The state BJP’s IT cell will be strengthened. “We will connect with the age group on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter,” a senior BJP leader said.

The Bengal BJP will raise the pitch against violence in the state by visiting places where party workers are targeted. Central teams too will be requested to tour such places.

Criticising Mamata Banerjee for her “divisive politics”, Singh, also the national spokesperson of the BJP, said Trinamul ministers meeting their central counterparts did not mean that the two parties were “cosying up”. “The daggers are drawn,” he said.

Asked about Singh’s claim that the BJP would have got 27 per cent of the votes in the Lok Sabha polls had there been no rigging, Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said his party “knew well how to calculate”.

“Let the BJP first win more seats and then do such calculations,” the minister said. “When the BJP says Mamata is worried, it is true. She is worried because like the UPA II, the NDA government is not extending support to the state government. The BJP leadership is more busy making provocative statements than helping the Bengal government.”