Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi likely to campaign in Bengal from next month
Kolkata, Dec 17: Senior Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are likely to start campaign in the West Bengal from next month in a bid to counter BJPs campaign blitzkrieg, party leader Jitin Prasada said on Thursday.
Prasada, the newly appointed Congress in-charge of West Bengal, said the party would put up a united fight with the CPI(M)-led Left Front against the ruling TMC and the BJP in the upcoming assembly polls. Prasada along with state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury held a series of meetings with the state leadership and took stock of the partys organisation in the state.
"We are conducting joint programmes with the Left Front in the state. We, along with the Left, will put up a strong fight against the TMC and the BJP in the next assembly polls," he told reporters here.
When asked about AICC central leadership hardly visiting West Bengal unlike the BJP which had kicked off a campaign blitzkrieg with its central leaders, Prasada said functioning of the two parties was different. Functioning of both the parties are not same. The BJP doesnt have a face in Bengal, that is why its central leaders have to pitch in to fill the gap. "But, in Congress, we believe in strong state leaders.
In Bengal, we have strong leadership so we never felt to bring in central leaders here," he said. "But as elections are approaching, from January onwards, senior AICC leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are likely to campaign in the state regularly," he said.
BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh had last month said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda would visit West Bengal every month till the assembly elections, due in April-May next year, are over. Nadda had paid a day-long visit to north Bengal in October and a two-day visit this week, while Shah was in the state for two days in November.
Shah is scheduled to arrive in West Bengal again on a two-day visit from December 19. During meeting with Prasada, the entire state Congress leadership supported alliance with the Left and wanted the AICC to give the go-ahead for the seat-sharing talks with the CPI(M) for the next assembly polls.
"We have conveyed to Jitin Ji that the entire state leadership is keen on having an alliance with the Left. But, we told him that the seat-sharing talks are yet to start.
"The best way to defeat both the TMC and the BJP is the Left-Congress alliance in Bengal, and for that, the seat- sharing should be sealed as early as possible," a senior party leader present during the meeting said. In the evening both Chowdhury and Prasada addressed a rally in Nagerbazar area of North 24 Parganas district and gave a call to defeat the Mamata Banerjee government in the next assembly polls. Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are due in April-May next year.