BJP to change strategy in Bengal

  • Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Feb 19, 2015 12:20 IST

The BJP is going to change strategy in Bengal and target CPI(M) along with Trinamool Congress in the run up to the Assembly polls. For starters, the party will hit the streets and the floor of the Parliament, highlighting where it expects the Left and Trinamool to unite during the Budget session.

The BJP think tank in Delhi believes that CPI(M) factor is hitting the party. This comes despite a quantum jump in vote share. The party top brass also accepts the fact that it has failed to dent the Trinamool Congress vote-bank.

“We will now target CPI(M) along with Trinamool Congress. It seems that the Marxists are shielding Trinamool Congress. Keeping Assembly polls in mind, we will go the people with our new strategy,” said Sidharth Nath Singh, BJP national secretary and observer for Bengal.

“We will highlight that in Bengal CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress are against each other. However, in Parliament they unite against the Centre. We expect both of them to unite and oppose bills during the budget session,” he added.

The BJP central leadership is concerned that despite hike in its vote share, it is falling short of numbers to clinch seats. The party’s central leadership has already asked its state counterpart to hit the streets against the Marxists. The party will try to woo Left voters into its fold. Special stress will be laid on rural areas, where the party is yet to make a mark, compared to urban areas.

Vote division among the opposition has existed since when Jyoti Basu was the chief minister. Even later during Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s rule, division of votes helped the Left Front government electorally.

The BJP’s vote share has risen from 14% to 29% since 2014 in Krishnagunj Assembly seat and 19% to 25% in Bongaon Lok Sabha bypoll. However, party leaders opined that it is not enough.

According to BJP sources, the party is on an introspection mode after the bypoll results, where Trinamool Congress won in both seats. Senior leaders in Delhi also accepted the fact that the party will have to target Trinamool Congress vote bank.

Trinamool Congress retained around 40% vote share in both Krishnagunj and Bongaon. In Krishnagunj, Trinamool Congress got 49% vote share in 2014. A year later, the percentage dipped slightly to 47.8%. In Bongaon Lok Sabha seat, both in 2014 and 2015 Trinamool Congress maintained its 43% vote share.

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