Kolkata: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor suggested West Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee to reimpose in public eye her old image of a ‘girl next door’ through a greater public outreach, in the run up to the assembly elections scheduled to be held in 2021.
Rattled by reverses in the LS polls, Didi had by this time, realised that she has to do something to regain her lost grounds. She launched a web based portal, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ as part of the public outreach. But Prashant Kishor’s strategy only served to alienate her further as the portal became a source of embarrassment for her with rivals railing her on possible issues.
She has now quietly abandoned it and started a direct ‘door to door’ programme of public contact, an area where she excels the most. Mamata faces an acid test early next year, when Kolkata corporation election, dubbed as semi-finals before the assembly poll, threaten to provide her some tormenting moments. Her party has already suffered a serious erosion in its ranks with the desertion of the former mayor of the corporation, Sovan Chatterji who wields enormous influence in South Kolkata. Besides, another strongman of TMC, Sabyasachi Dutta former mayor of Vidhan nagar, ditched her. Both of them have joined BJP, queering the pitch for TMC.
With only a few months left for Kolkata corporation election, public disenchantment is discernible against the ruling party. What has added to this, is the manner former police commissioner of Kolkata, Rajiv Kumar went underground to evade arrest by CBI in connection with Saradha probe. Public at large, associate Kumar with Mamata & blame TMC for trying to shield him from arrest.