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Just tell Didi, and she will change the subject from Jai Shri Ram to governance

5 10 0

MLAs and office-bearers of the Trinamool Congress are these days busy going from one village to another. It is not election time, and they are not going around talking about politics. They are talking about governance issues, a surprising change in the over-politicised state of West Bengal.

The functionaries first go to a village or an urban neighbourhood that’s already been selected for them by the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), a consulting firm mentored by Prashant Kishor. The MLAs and leaders first interact with 3-5 key influencers in the area, and then sit down to listen to people’s grievances for three hours straight (‘Jana Sanjog Sabha’). Over 1,000 party leaders will undertake this exercise in 10,000 pre-identified locations.

TMC MLAs and leaders have dinner with local party cadres and booth workers. Night stay is at the house of one such worker. It’s not over yet. Next morning, they have to go to each house distributing a visiting card that says “Didi Ke Bolo” — just tell Didi, as Mamata Banerjee is popularly called. There’s a phone number on which people can call and say anything they like or even register a complaint.

In the first 24 hours since the campaign was launched, there were 1 lakh calls, mostly recorded by an interactive voice response (IVR), although there’s an army of 250 people to speak to callers as well. People are calling to say all kinds of things, according to I-PAC professionals managing the campaign. They’re calling to register individual........

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