With the Bihar poll war still on, the BJP is gearing up for next year’s ‘Battle for Bengal’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the charge.
In a blitzkrieg campaign, Modi will address about a dozen rallies in Kolkata and the districts by early next year. Kicking off the party’s campaign, BJP president Amit Shah will address a rally in Kolkata on November 30.
“On November 30, we will hold Utthan Divas rally in Kolkata. Our national president Amit Shah will address a mammoth gathering. This will be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a series of rallies in the coming months,” state BJP chief Rahul Sinha said.
“By the time Shah holds his first rally in on November 30, Bihar would be a BJP-ruled state,” Sinha added. He said the party was now just waiting for Shah to give his nod to the campaign blueprint.
Taking a dig at chief minister Mamata Banerjee for asking Bihar voters to support Nitish Kumar, Sinha said the Trinamool was scared that the BJP was heading for a landslide victory in Bihar.
However, the party’s recent fortunes in Bengal have been a mixed bag.
While the party gained momentum during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls winning two MP seats and managing a 15% vote share, it suffered reverses in the civic polls and assembly bypolls, thereafter.
Modi held half-a-dozen rallies in Bengal before the Lok Sabha polls. Later, the party also managed to win an assembly seat in a bypoll, its first on its own strength in the state. But thereafter, the party failed to put up a good show.
“Mamata is desperately trying to find relevance in national politics. Her dream of a Third Front has flopped. Now, she is batting for Nitish Kumar. She is also scared that the wind is in BJP’s favour in Bihar,” Sinha said.