Battered by the party’s dismal performance in the recent by-polls, the West Bengal BJP unit on Wednesday asked its district units to start door-to-door campaign on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which aims at providing citizenship to non-Muslim refugees.
The directive comes in the backdrop of the contentious citizenship bill, which has created strong resentment in the Northeastern states, is set to be tabled in Parliament with the Union Cabinet giving its clearance to the draft law.
The West Bengal BJP unit called an emergency meet of all district presidents and top leaders during the day. BJP national general secretary and West Bengal minder Kailash Vijayvargiya along with senior party leader Shiv Prakash were present at the meeting.
Apart from discussing the issue of CAB, other organisational aspects of the party were also deliberated and leaders were told to fix lacunae ahead of the next year’s civic polls.
“We have been asked to conduct door-to-door campaign from this month itself, once the bill is tabled and passed in Parliament. We have been told to reach out to each and every household of the area and blocks and speak to the people about CAB. We will also organize small street corner meetings and seminars to reach to the masses,” a senior BJP leader said.
With its pitch to implement NRC in West Bengal hitting the BJP hard in the recent by-polls in the state, the saffron party has decided to raise awareness on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by conducting workshops and classes for cadres, another senior BJP leader said.
Ruling Trinamool Congress is opposed to both NRC and the CAB.
The BJP scored a duck in the by-elections to Karimpur, Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar Assembly seats, which was the saffron party’s first electoral tussle with the TMC in the state since its impressive performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
“While analysing the by-poll results, we found that our cadres were not aware of the clauses of the CAB because of which they failed to spread the message...
“So, party classes, workshops and seminars will be held at the booth-level to educate cadres about the bill. TMC’s misinformation campaign on the NRC will be countered by a positive campaign on CAB,” he said.
The publication of the final updated NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Assam, which left out over 19.6 lakh people, including over 12 lakh Hindus and Bengali Hindus, has changed the political narrative in West Bengal, with the TMC appearing to be in an advantageous position over the BJP, he added.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, which aims to provide citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, has been slammed by several opposition parties as communal and divisive with Congress threatening to go to Supreme Court to challenge the proposed legislation.
At a briefing of the cabinet meeting, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has taken care of the interests of everyone and “the interest of India”.