Millennium Post

Success of 'Didi Ke Bolo' to be yardstick for civic poll candidates: TMC

Success of Didi Ke Bolo to be yardstick for civic poll candidates: TMC

Kolkata: The performance of party workers in effective implementation of 'Didi Ke Bolo' (Tell Didi) will be a yardstick for selection of TMC candidates in the civic polls in West Bengal to be held next year, party sources said.

They said only those aspirants who impress the TMC leadership with their performance will be given tickets to contest polls to Kolkata Municipal Corporation and 107 municipalities.

The Trinamool Congress leadership has also decided to conduct a survey to assess its support base and penetration of the BJP in 107 municipalities of the state and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that will go to polls in 2020.

The elections to civic bodies are being tipped as "mini assembly elections" ahead of the crucial 2021 assembly poll in West Bengal.

Speaking to PTI on condition of anonymity, TMC sources said the 'Didi Ke Bolo' initiative and the survey results will act as a filter in the exercise of selecting candidates and weeding out the undeserving aspirants.

"The third phase of Didi Ke Bolo began early this week. So it is likely to be over by December and the internal party survey will also be concluded by January next year.

"The reports will be submitted to our party supremo Mamata Banerjee and also to the top leadership and after that, the list of candidates will be prepared accordingly," a TMC leader said.

According to party sources, the results of the 107 municipal polls and the KMC, covering nearly 60 per cent of the state, will act as an indicator of a possible outcome of the 2021 assembly poll.

The municipal polls have acquired more importance due to the BJP making deep inroads in the state and emerging as the main challenger to the ruling TMC by pushing the Congress and the Left Front to distant third and fourth position respectively.

The BJP, in the 2019 Parliamentary election, bagged 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than the ruling TMC. The TMC's tally has come down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats in this election.

Following the TMC's Lok Sabha polls performance, which was below expectation, the party had appointed poll strategist Prashant Kishor and his team I-PAC to shore up its popularity in the state ahead of the 2021 assembly election. The 'Didi Ke Bolo' initiative is a brainchild of Kishor.

The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday 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 - were launched by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on July 29.

Close to 500 senior TMC leaders and MLAs had conducted outreach programmes in 1,022 villages in the first phase of the initiative.



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