Union Home Minister Amit Shah has made a startling claim that during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, many from Communist Party of India (Marxist) had helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal.

“In 2019, many from CPI(M) had indirectly supported us in the Lok Sabha elections. For the Assembly Elections in 2021, we have to get them directly into BJP,” Shah said, as quoted by ABP Ananda, at a party meeting in Bankura.

The saffron party made a huge leap forward in West Bengal during the 2019 elections. From two seats in 2014, BJP rose to 18 seats in 2019. In terms of vote share, the Hindutva birgade increased its tally from 10% in 2016 to 42% in 2019.

The massive electoral gain of BJP was seen by many as a result of CPI(M)’s gradual erosion. The leftist party, that ruled Bengal for 34 years straight from 1977 to 2011, had failed to win a single seat in the state in the last Parliamentary elections.

India’s largest communist party had witnessed a steep decline in its vote share as well. From 19.75% in 2016, the number came to a meager 6.28% in 2019.

After the results came out in 2019, Trinamool Congress had blamed CPI(M) for the BJP’s rise in West Bengal. The debate seems to have been fuelled once again with Amit Shah’s statement during his two-day visit to the poll-bound state.

CPI(M) has denied to accept Shah’s claim. Central Committee member Sujan Chakraborty said that it was evident from the BJP leader’s remark that they had tried and failed to induce CPI(M) workers and cadres, reported ABP Ananda.

At the first stop in Bankura on his two-day visit to West Bengal, Shah on Thursday said that the BJP would form government in the state after winning two-third seats in next year’s Assembly Elections.

He further added that Banerjee was scared to see the rise of BJP in West Bengal and was, thus, deliberately restricting the Central Government’s welfare scheme in the state.

“The death knell for Mamata Banerjee’s government has been sounded. With two-third majority in the next Assembly Elections, BJP will form the government in West Bengal in 2021,” Shah was quoted as saying by Bengali portal The Wall.

“Mamata Banerjee is scared. She is scared that’s why she is restricting the implementation of Central Government’s welfare schemes in Bengal. Farmers in Bengal is not getting the 6000 rupees that the centre is paying.

“The poor families are not receiving the medical insurance of Rs 5 lakh. People from marginalised communities are being denied grants for building proper homes and toilets for themselves. The State Government has restricted funds of at least 80 Central Government schemes,” Shah added.