Shah's claim confuses West Bengal BJP leadership

Shah's claim confuses West Bengal BJP leadership

Police detain BJP Mohila Morcha President Locket Chatterjee as she react to a lady POlice constable from the prison van at Hazra crossing near West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Kalighat residence during a rally to protest against the alleged br

BJP president Amit Shah's claim that the party is ready to come to power in West Bengal has generated confusion in the state leadership.

Party sources told DH that the president's claim has put state leaders on the spot as the BJP does not have a proper organisational presence in about 30,000 polling booths. Shah made the comment at the BJP national executive council meeting in Delhi.

"Out of the 77,000 polling booths in Bengal, we have not even been able to set up booth committees in 30,000 booths. If the situation is such, then how will we come to power in Bengal in the near future," a senior state BJP leader said.

He also said that the main reason for being unable to set up booth committees in about 30,000 booths is that they are mostly located in minority dominated areas.

The BJP leader admitted that there is still a "negative perception" among some communities about the BJP, which is hindering the setting up of booth committees in areas where they live.

Even as state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu claimed that the task of setting up booth committees in all polling booths will be completed quickly, a section of state BJP leaders are skeptical about it.

"When will the process of setting up booth committees be complete? This has been going on for nearly three years. Our president gave an instruction to set up booth committees in all the polling booths after the Assembly elections in 2016," said a state BJP leader.

However, Basu said the BJP has made "significant progress" in this regard.

"About two years ago, we had booth committees in only about 20% of the booths but now we have committees in more than 80% of the booths. From a weak fourth, we have quickly come up as a strong second in Bengal. This is reason behind our president's comment," said Basu.