‘These numbers will increase and may touch 170-180 seats as campaigning gains momentum with the Prime Minister campaigning in the state.’
New Delhi: If the elections in West Bengal are held today, the BJP is going to do well in 110-125 seats of the total 294 Assembly seats, an assessment done under the supervision of two BJP senior leaders who have the responsibility of poll management in the state, has found.
The assessment has also stated that the “efforts” being put by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to break the perception that she is a strong proponent of “appeasement”, with the intention to gain the votes of the majority community, too, has been “somewhat” successful. It is pertinent to mention that, to counter BJP’s “Jai Sri Ram”, Banerjee has invoked the slogan of “Jai Siya Ram”.
As per the assessment, the party needed to put more efforts on at least 75 seats, implying that pro-Mamata Banerjee-TMC sentiments were strong on these seats.
According to a party leader, who is aware of these findings, these were “early days” and the BJP’s graph was going to rise even more as the election date approaches.
“It is a very volatile election and anything can happen that may turn the elections on its head. In the 2019 elections, the vandalizing of the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in Kolkata became a huge issue and the TMC was able to use it to create a negative perception against us. Also, there is the alliance factor (referring to a possible alliance of all anti-BJP parties). Having said that, going by our feedback, we are in a very strong position in at-least 110-125 seats. In the coming days, these numbers will increase as our campaigning gains momentum with the Prime Minister campaigning in the state. We will touch 170-180 seats,” the leader said. The magic number in the state Assembly is 148.
Party leaders hinted that the BJP will announce a CM face who will be a “son of soil”. In a meeting that was conducted by Home Minister Amit Shah at The Westin hotel in Kolkata on Thursday that was attended by core election campaign committee members, Shah reiterated that the leaders focus on “local issue”, booth management and invest time and resources on “people-to-people” connect rather than “mega-rallies”. It should be mentioned that during the ongoing “Parivartan Yatra, the BJP had initially planned to hold 42 mega rallies in the 42 Lok Sabha seats of the state, but, as per Shah’s and party president J.P. Nadda’s instructions, these rallies were called off and replaced with multiple public meetings in each of the 294 Assembly seats.
During the Vidyasagar vandalization incident, Mamata Banerjee had stated that it was done by “outsiders” (referring to BJP). According to West Bengal-based political observers, this “outsider vs insider” debate is being promoted very strongly by Mamata Banerjee to invoke “Bengali sentiments” and “sub-nationalism”.
The party’s slogan for this election, which was launched on Saturday, too is based on the same plank: “Bangla Nijer Meyke Chai”–which means: “Bengal wants its own daughter” (daughter being Mamata).
The strategy-makers of BJP in West Bengal, which includes Kailash Vijayvargiya (state in-charge), Arvind Menon (co-incharge), Amit Malviya (co-incharge) and RSS men Shiv Prakash (Joint General Secretaries (Organisation), are focusing on the “difficult” seats (where the BJP is not in a strong position) with the intention to ensure that the party is able to win some of these “difficult” seats to cushion a possible loss in the seats where it is confident of winning.
These difficult seats are spread across districts like Murshidabad, Kolkata, South 24 Parganas and some parts of Malda.