Kolkata: It seems Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP’s) national president Amit Shah is over confident about his party’s progress in Bengal in recent times. Because, for 2019 election, he claimed, BJP will win around 22 seats in Bengal, which is over half the total 42 parliamentary seats in the state. As of now, BJP has only two members representing Bengal in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian parliament).
The two constituencies which belong to the saffron brigade, in Bengal are – Asansol and Darjeeling— in both the areas, there are a sizeable number of non-traditional Bengali voters, and political pundits believe that it had helped BJP to win the two seats.
“Mamata has been mulling over her initiative to form a grand alliance with the Opposition parties. Let me tell her, she should be careful as she is steadily losing her own ground in Bengal. BJP is already the number-two party here… and after winning more than 22 seats in the 2019 elections, we will emerge as the number-one party,” Amit Shah claimed.
Urging people to vote for his party, Shah declared the 2019 elections would be deciding the future of Bengal and added that only BJP could help Bengal in development.
Such tall claims being made by the BJP president may be because of the party’s voting percentage in last four year, which has in both assembly and panchayat polls. But this improvement has not been significant enough for BJP to win seats in Lok Sabha polls, which needs very large number of votes from entire parliamentary constituency, comprised at least four assembly segments.
Political analyst Bijan Sarkar feels that such statement is an attempt to hide the evitable loss that 2019 election will bring. “The number 22 is so vague. He has not been able to give us any direct explanation. Is it 2+2 or 2-2?” questions Sarkar. “The narrative built about achhe din has turned out like a fake dream. All promises made by this government have proved to be false. Political landscape has changed over the last four years. People had hoped that this government would bring a change that India desperately needed but NDA has proved to be otherwise. Lynching, sexual violence on women and children, violence against dalits and minorities, deaths of farmers are the order of the day,” said Sarkar.
Debasish Jana, mayor in council of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation said that BJP is ‘day dreaming’. “They should think about retaining their two seats (Darjeeling and Asansol) now,” said Jana.
Leaders of CPI (M), however, felt that Amit Shah’s Purulia speech was to encourage the BJP cadres. “He knows that it will be a tough fight in Bengal, because we would also be fielding our candidates in every Lok Sabha seats,” said the Left leader, on condition of anonymity.
Purulia, located at the West Bengal-Jharkhand border, has emerged as the latest flashpoint of the rivalry between Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and BJP, and from here Shah started party’s Lok Sabha campaign.
Interestingly, a day after BJP president meeting with a family in Purulia, they joined TMC. While the family members claimed that there were threatened by BJP to meet Amit Shah. But after they joined TMC, BJP leaders claimed, that the family members were abducted by TMC and forcibly made them join TMC.