New Delhi: As the Bharatiya Janata Party tries to make inroads into West Bengal and Kerala, it has mobilised its grassroots workers to highlight the failures of the governments in these two states. The BJP has claimed that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has failed to deliver on over 70% of the promises made in its manifesto in the 2016 Assembly elections; while the Left-ruled Kerala government has failed to fulfil 83% of the 35-point action programme promises in the 2016 elections.
BJP’s policymaking wing has prepared reports titled “The Tale of Betrayal” on the manifestos of the two governments and alleged that most of the promises pertaining to law and order, education, health, infrastructure, tourism and culture, jobs and industrial growth remained unfulfilled. It has also alleged that West Bengal and Kerala have the worst crime records in the country. The report says that these states top the list in crimes against women, infiltration and crimes against children.
Dr Sumeet Bhasin, Director of the Public Policy Research Center, which prepared the report, said: “The study has found that in West Bengal, 77 promises made by Mamata Banerjee from the 2016 manifesto are unfulfilled, which is almost 70%. Out of the 77 unfulfilled promises, almost 27 promises continued from the 2011 manifesto.”
“West Bengal is not only the highest contributor to human trafficking, but it alone accounts for 44% of all cases nationally,” the report says. It claims that West Bengal recorded 27 incidents of violence in 2015 in which five persons died and 84 suffered injuries. “The number of incidents almost doubled by 2017 when 58 incidents of violence were recorded, in which nine people lost their lives and 230 were injured. West Bengal stands fifth highest in the country, when it comes to crimes against children,” the report states, while quoting from the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The research, which is being used by the BJP in campaigning in Bengal, states that West Bengal tops the list when it comes to crimes committed by foreigners. “West Bengal recorded 76 incidents of acid attack and about 83 victims, accounting for 26% of total incidents and 27% of total victims in India. West Bengal recorded 19,305 cases of cruelty by husband or his relatives against women,” the report adds.
On the other hand, the BJP accuses the Left government in Kerala of failing to create jobs or encouraging start-ups in the state, adding only initiatives launched by the BJP-led Central government such as the Mudra scheme are taking care of the people in the state. It also alleges that the number of foreign tourists in Kerala has dropped by 10% during the current Left government’s rule.
It may be noted that the BJP is making efforts to make inroads into these two states. While the BJP says it is confident of winning over 20 seats in West Bengal, the party has firmed up an alliance in Kerala where it does not have any seats at present. Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha seats and the state will vote on 23 April. The BJP is aiming to open its account in the state, where its ideological mentor, the RSS, has made a significant presence over the years.