Elections 2019: in Bengal, the BJP charts a new course
2 min read.Updated: 30 Apr 2019, 04:28 PM ISTGyan Varma
In West Bengal, voters tired of the violence, corruption and nepotism of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress are leaning towards BJP. Ten of the state’s 42 seats have voted so far, and as eight more go to the polls in the fourth phase on Monday, Mint’s Gyan Varma lays out the ground realities
For 30-year-old businessman S.M. Imran, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is a symbol of resistance against the steadily growing influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has slowly become the main challenger to the electoral might of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
The ongoing election battle between the TMC and the BJP has largely been tagged as a contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Banerjee.
The two have been taking potshots at each other for the last few weeks on the campaign trail. Banerjee, who was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the 1990s, has been on a collision course with the centre for a few years now, and is openly critical of Modi, his policies and programmes, and his mode of governance. (READ MORE)
Will win more than 50% seats, bring in NRC: Dilip Ghosh
In West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to win at least half the seats, says the party’s state president and Medinipur candidate Dilip Ghosh. Tackling corruption and implementing National Register of Citizens are on the party’s agenda if it wins, he said in an interview.
What are the main issues ahead of this election?
Restoration of democracy is the main agenda of this election. The one-point programme of the BJP is to protect democracy because there is no democracy in West Bengal. In the panchayat elections last year, people could not file nominations for over a third of the seats. Trinamool Congress members surrounded the office where nominations were to be filed for seven days. There was large-scale violence during panchayat elections. In 20,100 of 58,000 panchayat seats, nobody could file a nomination; over 42% of rural voters were unable to cast their votes. This is the situation in West Bengal. The second big issue is corruption and political violence. At least 42 BJP workers were killed and over 100 political killings have happened across the state. The police force is not allowed to investigate these cases. Yet, BJP won 7,000 seats in the panchayat election even after so much violence. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: A two-year strategy to seize a state
For the past two years, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers have been working tirelessly across all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal with the single aim of making significant gains in the 2019 general elections.
Work began soon after the party’s dismal performance in the assembly polls in 2016, with the BJP garnering a mere 10% vote share. This, despite doing well in the remaining parts of east and north-east India. The efforts were not limited to strengthening the organizational and social base of the party, but aimed at exploiting the people’s anger against the Mamata Banerjee-led state government. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: Divided opposition helps BJP
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, and the Congress may speak of forming a front to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but voters are confused by the contradictions in their stand on the ground. This confusion may just help the BJP in the state.
The fact that these parties talk of defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi but have not been able to finalize an alliance is a clear concern for voters. They’re worried that regional differences will play out at the centre too, upsetting the working of a stable government. (READ MORE)
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