Around 1,000 Trinamool Congress leaders will be heading towards Bengal villages over the next 100 days as part of the party's first major programme ahead of the assembly elections in 2021. The idea is to strengthen the party's connect at the grassroot level, what was once its stronghold.
Announcing the initiative at a press conference, party chief Mamata Banerjee said that the party would decide who would visit where. The announcement was made after Banerjee's meeting with MLAs and other senior leaders.
The party leaders would visit the villages and lend their ears to booth workers, influential people in the area, anyone who wishes to voice grievances or raise concerns.
There are other means of reaching out as well. A party helpline number and a website www.didikebolo.com have been launched for people to reach out to Banerjee directly.
Banerjee however said that this was not part of her campaign for the assembly elections.
"We are not starting our campaign now. A lot of time is left and there is work to be done. We wanted to provide a platform to the people so that they can share their concerns."
As Chief Minister, Banerjee has been reaching out to people. So far, she has held 450 administrative review meeting in the districts. But this is a party initiative.
The initiative is also the first such announced by the Trinamool Congress after roping in poll strategist Prashant Kishor. Kishore has just had a major success in Andhra Pradesh with Jagan Mohan Reddy routing out Chandrababu Naidu while the Trinamool suffered a major jolt in West Bengal.
The BJP's rise in Bengal has been a concern for the Trinamool, especially after its resounding win in the general elections, where it won 18 of 42 seats. The Trinamool lost 12 seats and bagged 22.
Banerjee while addressing the press conference on Monday didn't miss out on an opportunity to take a swipe at the BJP.
Banerjee however is readying to fight back and her comeback strategy appears to be targeted towards winning back her rural support what has been waning on the twin issues of extortion at the local level and corruptions.
At the Martyrs' Day rally too, Banerjee had urged party leaders to get down to the block level and work for the people. "You can't do politics from the confines of your home," she had said. She had also said that booth workers were the party's biggest asset.