Mamata's 'DidiKeBolo' prog is a hit: Party sources

Mamata's 'DidiKeBolo' prog is a hit: Party sources

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during the launch of a new campaign 'Didi Ke Bolo', in Kolkata, Monday, July 29, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The 'DidiKeBolo' digital platform launched by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as part of a mass outreach programme received over two lakh calls in the first two days, party sources said on Wednesday.

Over two lakh calls have been received so far since the launch of the platform on Monday, while around a lakh people have shared their opinions and voiced problems on the helpline number and website, they said.

"We are still counting. The response is massive," the sources said.

Buffeted by reverses in the recent Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee on Monday unveiled the massive public outreach programme under which over 1,000 party leaders will visit 10,000 villages over the next 100 days to understand people's problems and redress their grievances.

As part of the mass contact programme, considered the brainchild of election strategist Prashant Kishor, the TMC supremo also launched a helpline number 9137091370 and a website www.didikebolo.com to enable people to have a direct interface with party functionaries.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) had recently appointed Kishor to shore up its popularity in the state ahead of the crucial assembly election in 2021.

The TMC leadership and Kishor's Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) officials, however, did not share the nature and content of the calls or the profile of the callers.

The I-PAC said the calls, messages and opinions would be scrutinised to chalk out a strategy to tap the loopholes, reach out to the masses and counter the BJP at the grassroots level.

"Around 250 plus people are working round-the-clock on this and the party is further ramping up its resources to handle the overwhelming response," said an I-PAC official.

The outreach is being seen by many as an effort by the ruling party to gain the political ground it had ceded to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.

The saffron party had clinched 18 of West Bengal's 42 Lok Sabha seats, just four less than the TMC in the 2019 general election.

The surge in BJP's popularity in West Bengal took the TMC by surprise. The TMC has ruled the state since 2011 after Banerjee powered it to a historic win that brought an end to the 34-year unbroken communist rule.