Kolkata: The 2018 panchayat elections will be a key test for the BJP in West Bengal, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The West Bengal elections in 2016 were slightly disappointing for the BJP as it could only win three assembly seats despite getting a 10% vote share.
After he was appointed the convener of BJP’s panchayat committee, BJP leader Mukul Roy on Tuesday said his party will not “leave an inch of space” for the ruling Trinamool Congress in upcoming rural polls.
Mukul Roy and the state president of West Bengal BJP Dilip Ghosh has held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the party strategy and political agenda for the upcoming Panchayet polls.According to BJP sources, the party is planning to revamp the organistion in districts and frontal organisations in the next few months.
Besides Roy, the panchayat committee comprises former MLA Shamik Bhattacharya as the co-convener and six members, including state BJP president Dilip Ghosh and former party chief Rahul Sinha. Known for his organisational skills, Roy, once the second in command in the ruling TMC, had switched over to the BJP last year.
Roy is in charge of planning for the elections — from selecting candidates to choosing campaign strategy. It is learnt that the decision was taken after the BJP’s vote share increased in the Uluberia bypoll held in January.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saw a 13 percentage point increase from its 2011 vote share in West Bengal during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It got the same number of Lok Sabha seats as the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), and was only six percentage points behind the latter in terms of vote share.