The civic polls, in which about 60 per cent voters of the state would be eligible to take part, are being tipped as 'mini assembly election' ahead of the crucial 2021 state polls.
The Trinamool Congress on Saturday asked its party councillors in Kolkata to ensure effective implementation of the ‘Didi ke Bolo’ (tell Didi) programme in the city, which would be a yardstick for getting nomination in the next year’s Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls, sources said.
In a closed-door meeting, Mayor Firhad Hakim asked his party councillors to campaign for the mass outreach program at least four times by the end of this month.
“The message of the party leadership was clear. If we pass in this (implementing the programme), we would be eligible for tickets in the KMC election scheduled to held early next year,” a TMC councillor said after the meeting.
According to sources in the party, only those serious about implementation of the programme, considered to be the brain child of election strategist Prashant Kishor, and impress the party leadership with it will be given ticket for the KMC polls, which will be held along with elections to 107 other civic bodies across the state in April-May next year.
The civic polls, in which about 60 per cent voters of the state would be eligible to take part, are being tipped as ‘mini assembly election’ ahead of the crucial 2021 state polls.
The results of the civic polls will indicate the possible outcome of the assembly elections, party leaders believe.
The polls have assumed significance as the BJP has emerged as a tough challenger to the ruling Trinamool Congress, making deep inroads in the state and pushing the opposition Congress and Left Front to distant third and fourth stops, respectively.
The BJP, in the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, bagged 18 of the 42 seats in the state, just four short of the TMC. The TMC’s tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats this time.
Following the poor show, the TMC roped in Kishor and his team, I-PAC, to strategise ahead of the assembly elections.
The Trinamool Congress last month launched the third phase of ‘Didi ke Bolo’ initiative to reach out to people and over 600 block and town presidents of the party were asked to visit more than 2,000 villages and municipal wards across the state.
In the first phase of the initiative, a helpline number and a website — didikebolo.com — were launched on July 29 by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also fondly called Didi, meaning elder sister.
The TMC is asking people to provide suggestions for better governance and also lodge their grievances through the website and the helpline, which would reach the TMC supremo.
Nearly 500 senior TMC leaders and MLAs have conducted outreach programmes in 1,022 villages in the first phase of the initiative.