BJP may go without a CM face to arrest any infighting that may arise on declaring one.
New Delhi: As the election to the crucial 294 Assembly seats in Bengal inches closer, the demand for a Chief Ministerial face of the Opposition parties is growing stronger, with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) turning the battle into a “Mamata vs Who?”
The BJP, which is being considered as the principal Opposition party in Bengal and wanting to dethrone the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and take reigns of Bengal, is yet to finalise a Chief Ministerial face capable of taking on Mamata Banerjee.
However, multiple names as BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate for Bengal are doing the rounds in the political circles of Bengal. Some of the prominent names that are being talked about within the BJP circle include state BJP’s General Secretary (organisation) Amitava Chakraborty, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, National Vice President Mukul Roy, senior BJP leader and one-time closest aide of Mamata Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari, Union Minister Babul Supriyo, MP from Hooghly and BJP’s women face and state General Secretary Locket Chatterjee, Union Minister Debashree Chaudhury, among some others.
However, the BJP has not made any official comment on who would be its Chief Ministerial candidate for the upcoming polls, apart from Union Home Minister Amit Shah announcing on multiple occasions that the BJP’s Chief Minister for Bengal would definitely be someone who is a “son of the soil”.
BJP sources that this correspondent spoke to have hinted that the BJP might go without a Chief Ministerial face for the upcoming Vidhan Sabha polls as according to the senior leadership of the party, it would be the best option for them to arrest any sort of infighting that would arise with the declaration of the CM face for the party.
“It is highly unlikely that the BJP would declare a CM face, because there are many contenders for the post and declaring one among them would create huge rifts within the party which could cost the party in the upcoming polls; so the best option is to fight under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and J.P. Nadda who are popular among the electorate in Bengal,” the BJP leader said.
The BJP also believes that the leadership of Narendra Modi is “all pervasive” and it is a tried and tested method for the party which even helped them to win bigger states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
“BJP has won multiple states without a CM face as you know in the case of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand where no CM face was projected, so it will be tried here as well. The party cannot risk declaring one candidate among the many expectants, it will hamper the party’s poll prospects. Also, not declaring a CM face makes every leader focus in their particular area and work hard to get as many seats as possible with the hope that if their region does better, they could be considered as a CM candidate for the party,” the senior BJP leader from Delhi told this correspondent.
The other Opposition parties in the state are also yet to declare any CM face. The CPM-Congress and Abbas Siddiqui’s new floated Indian Secular Front are in an alliance this time to take on the TMC and the BJP; however, either of the two parties (CPM and Congress) are yet to decide on who would be their Chief Ministerial candidate.
Sources in the CPM said that Suryakanta Mishra would be the best fit as the CM candidate for the alliance, while Congress sources said that Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury would be a best fit for the CM candidate for the alliance.
Political experts in Bengal consider that this confusion and dilemma against a clear CM face with any of the Opposition parties in Bengal has somewhat given the TMC an upper edge as the TMC has a strong woman face in Mamata Banerjee to take on all the other political parties in Bengal.
The TMC also considers this to be its advantage as it says that as the election draws near, the TMC will go with a stronger force of Mamata Banerjee among the electorate and is likely to soon turn the electoral debate into “Mamata vs Who?”