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BJP deploys seven union and state ministers in Bengal

New Delhi: A number of union ministers and BJP leaders, led by home minister Amit Shah, have hit the ground in West Bengal as part of the party’s campaign plan for the assembly elections next year. The party has formed a committee of seven central and state ministers, and Shah chaired a meeting of these leaders in Kolkata during his two-day trip to state ended on Sunday, party leaders aware of the development told ET.

The seven leaders – union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Arjun Munda, Mansukh Mandviya, Prahlad Singh Patel, Sanjeev Balyan and state ministers Keshav Maurya from Uttar Pradesh and Narottam Mishra from Madhya Pradesh – have been given six to seven Lok Sabha constituencies each to look after the poll preparations in the state, sources said.

Apart from that, BJP has divided West Bengal into five zones and a special in-charge has been deputed for each of the zones. They are Dushyant Gautam for Kolkata zone, Sunil Deodhar for Medinipur zone, Vinod Sonkar for Rath Bang zone, Vinod Tawde for Nabadwip zone, and Harish Dwivedi for North Bengal zone, sources said. There is another layer to look at organisational work. For that, experienced party general secretaries of states have been roped in to work in these five zones, they said.

BJP’s UP organisation general secretary and architect of the party’s victory there, Sunil Bansal was in Kolkata on Sunday, and held a meeting of all the vistaraks of the Kolkata zone. Gujarat organization general secretary Bhikubhai Dalsania will work along with Tawde in Nabadwip zone.

Pawan Rana, Himachal general secretary organization will work with Sunil Deodhar and Harish Dwivedi. Ravindra Raju, the newly appointed Haryana general secretary organisation, will work with Sonkar in Rath Bang zone. Raju had held a meeting of party workers in Bolpur on December 16 for preparation of Shah’s roadshow on Sunday.

BJP national joint general secretary, organisation, Shiv Prakash will look at the overall organisational expansion and work of all the five zones of West Bengal, sources said. Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan was in West Bengal on an official tour for the last three days. In between, he also took some time out on December 18 to hold a meeting of BJP workers of nine assembly constituencies of Durgapur and Asansol. “Every day new teams are getting formed based on the party strategy and accordingly work is going on whom to send where,” a senior party leader told ET.

Leaders from Hindi heartland of Bihar, UP and MP are trying to reach out to the Hindi speaking population of the state spread across different districts, sources said. Union minister Arjun Munda would target the areas bordering Jharkhand, which has a tribal population. Narottam Mishra has been reaching out to Bengali population of MP in order to get their support during Bengal elections.

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