After emerging as the single largest party in the NDA’s victory in Bihar Assembly elections, the BJP is set to go all out to woo voters in West Bengal for the 2021 Assembly polls in the state, due in six months.
The BJP has been working to a plan to secure power in West Bengal for some time.
The party has been preparing for the next year’s Assembly polls, buoyed by its impressive showing in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and in the assembly by-polls during the period from 2016 to 2020.
The party began its poll campaign during the October Durga Puja celebrations amid a raging pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the party leaders and workers at the state’s 294 booth-level units during the Durga Puja signaling the launch of its campaign in West Bengal.
Modi’s close associate and Home Minister Amit Shah too followed suit by undertaking a visit to West Bengal in the first week of November, 2020. He visited the Hindu’s holy shrine at Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir.
Shah made no secret of intention to visit the State even amid the Covid 19 pandemic when he openly accused the ruling Trinamul Congress party of indulging in the politics of appeasement. He also expressed his party’s resolve to restore the past glory of Bengal and initiate developmental activities if voted to power in the next year’s state assembly elections.
The Trinamul Congress headed by Mamata Banerjee came back to power for the second time in 2016.
The BJP could win only 3 seats in the 294-member Assembly. However, the party slowly and gradually increased its tally in the Assembly to 15 in the subsequent Assembly by-polls.
The Lok Sabha elections in 2019 when the BJP won from 18 of the 42 seats as against Trinamul Congress’ 22 proved to be a game changer for it. The 18 seats accounted for about 40 per cent of the vote share.
In July 2020, BJP West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya made clear the party’s game plan for the State when he set a target of 250 seats for the 2021 assembly polls in the state.
“For the Lok Sabha polls, we had set a target of 23 Lok Sabha seats and won 18. Now, our new target is 250 seats in the state (assembly). We will prepare our poll strategy and work towards achieving this target,” then-BJP national general secretary as well as the West Bengal in-charge, Kailash Vijayvargiya had said. Amit Shah recently claimed the BJP would win 200 seats in the next assembly polls.
“A victory always increases the morale of the party workers. BJP’s victory in Bihar and the by-polls will act as a morale booster for its workers in the state. West Bengal will now be our prime focus state,” Kailash Vijayvargiya said on Wednesday.
“The ground in Bengal is well prepared for a change and we have to ensure that the anger against the TMC government is channelized. We will use all our energy to free the people of the state from the misrule of TMC,” the BJP leader further added.