Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ digital programme a hit among people, say party sources

The DidiKeBolo digital platform launched by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as part of a mass outreach programme received over two lakh calls in the first two days, party sources said on Wednesday. Over two lakh calls have been received so far since the launch of the platform on Monday, while around a lakh people have shared their opinions and voiced problems on the helpline number and website, they said. When asked about the response to her initiative, Banerjee said, You can ask my team. it is good. The BJP, however, described the DidiKeBolo (Speak to Didi) initiative as a desperate attempt as the party said people of West Bengal actually want to say Didi Ko Chhoro (leave Didi). Buffeted by reverses in the recent Lok Sabha polls Banerjee on Monday unveiled the massive public outreac programme under which over 1,000 party leaders will visi 10,000 villages over the next 100 days to understand people problems and redress their grievances. As part of the mass contact programme, considered th brainchild of election strategist Prashant Kishor, the TM supremo also launched helpline number 9137091370 and website to enable people to have a direct interface with party functionaries. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) had recently appointe Kishor to shore up its popularity in the state ahead of th crucial assembly election in 2021. The TMC leadership and Kishors Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) officials, however, did not share the nature and content of the calls or the profile of the callers. The I-PAC said the calls, messages and opinions woul be scrutinised to chalk out a strategy to tap the loopholes reach out to the masses and counter the BJP at the grassroot level. Around 250 plus people are working round-the-clock o this and the party is further ramping up its resources to handle the overwhelming response, said an I-PAC official. The outreach is being seen by many as an effort by th ruling party to gain the political ground it had ceded to the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha elections. BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, Mamata Banerjees misrule has ruined Bengal. Had she lent an ear to the pains of the people, the situation would have been much better. The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said people of the state were more inclined to say Didi ko chhoro aur Modi ko bolo (Leave didi and speak to Modi). The BJP leader also ridiculed Banerjee for hiring poll strategist Kishor, who is also the JD(U) vice president, saying it proved that the TMC did not have good leaders The saffron party had clinched 18 of West Bengals 4 Lok Sabha seats, just four less than the TMC, in this year general election. The surge in BJPs popularity in West Bengal took th TMC by surprise. The TMC has ruled the state since 2011 afte Banerjee powered it to a historic win that brought an end t the 34-year unbroken communist rule. PTI PNT SNS NN SR 07312157