(Shaswati Das/Mint)
(Shaswati Das/Mint)

People understood and gave the mandate: BJP's Roopa Ganguly on LS verdict

Roopa Ganguly spoke to Mint about the party’s past and future strategies

KOLKATA: As West Bengal witnessed a saffron surge, on Thursday, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) going ahead on 19 as opposed the Trinamool Congress’ 22 seats, BJP member of Parliament Roopa Ganguly spoke to Mint about the party’s past and future strategies.

BJP has created history in West Bengal. Do you think these results set the tone for the assembly elections of 2021 in the state?

Election results and winning an election is not all about winning the next election or planning to win the next election.

But the party’s strategy seems to have worked in its favour.

It’s not about strategy. We cannot immediately start planning for how or when we will win the next elections and how to make that happen. If that were the case for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then he would not have taken such massive steps from the very beginning. If you see the steps he has taken from the beginning, they (opposition parties) had decided that they will label the steps as “derogatory" or they will dismiss the steps he has taken.

So what worked then?

It is the people who understood and gave the mandate. They understood that all other political parties are just blabbering. Any simple person will understand that. Notebandi se kya taqleef hua batao? (Tell me, how did demonetisation hurt people?) If you have 1000 or even 50,000 in your pocket, how does the move hurt? In the long run, people have not been hurt. Can’t the opposition understand that?

But a large section of the electorate is of the opinion in West Bengal that PM Modi’s schemes such as Ujjwala and Ayushman Bharat have not reached them. Your thoughts?

Firstly, the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee began by saying that under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) the numbers were very high and benefited people. But she was happy till MNREGA used to come directly under her and the money went to her state bank account. All the MNREGA money would go directly to the state and so she was happy with how things panned out. She began to pose problems when she realised that money for the schemes would not go to her. Today, because of her follies, the BJP has surged ahead in West Bengal.

Don’t you think the political discourse this time in Bengal hot an absolute low where the parties did not touch upon the electorate’s issues at all?

Of course. Mamata Banerjee has stooped low and has been uttering dirty comments. If she had not gone down that path of violence, maybe we would have won more than 30 seats. The people are fed up of her. They want change.

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