'Strategy to play mind games:' TMC on Prashant Kishor's audiotape leak
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) termed the leaking of 'Club House room' audio chat of its election strategist Prashant Kishor a strategised mind games of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to create a wave in favour of the party in poll-bound West Bengal.
Addressing media persons, TMC MP Dola Sen said, "The BJP friends have been circulating the partial audiotape since Saturday morning. The complete audiotape including all questions and answers should be released not the edited and partial version."
Referring to the tweet of poll strategist Prashant Kishor, Sen said, "He (Prashant Kishor), whose audiotape BJP has been circulating himself answered everything through his tweet. He reiterated in his tweet that BJP will not get 100 seats in Bengal. BJP understood that Mamata Banerjee will be again the chief minister of West Bengal. This is the strategy to play the mind games and create a wave of BJP amid the ongoing polls."
In the leaked audio of clubhouse chat, Kishor, who had said nearly four months back that BJP will struggle to cross double figures in the state, admitted that BJP has workers on the ground and that people were coming in large numbers to rallies of the Prime Minister who has acquired a "cult" in the country. He said that the Matua community was predominantly voting for the BJP and that there had been "blatant misuse of minority politics" by non-BJP parties in the state.
"There is vote in the name of Modi. There is vote for being Hindu. Polarisation, Modi, Hindi speakers, these are factors. Modi is popular. There are over one crore Hindi speakers. There are 27 per cent Dalits, they are totally with BJP. When we do a survey and ask people whose government will be formed in Bengal, then it comes in our survey that the government is being formed by BJP," he said.
Kishor said those who vote for BJP are voting for it and the majority of Left voters also think that BJP is forming the government. "BJP has a lot of workers who could have been imported from the Left parties. If we leave one or two districts, there is no other district where BJP does not have a strong cadre," Kishor said.
Kishor's conversation was tweeted by Amit Malviya, national in-charge of BJP's Information and Technology department and co-incharge of West Bengal.
"10-15-20-25 per cent people see God in him. Whether it is right or wrong, that is a different debate. He has acquired a cult in the country. The Hindi speaking people are the core support base of BJP in Bengal. There is anti-incumbency against the state government, not the Centre. Modi is quite popular here. We are doing surveys. Modi and Mamata are equally popular in Bengal which is a very big thing," Kishor said.
He also indicated that the people of Bengal were striving for a change.
"People of Bengal have not seen the rule of BJP so far, they have not tasted it and they are wanting to do it. People are coming to rallies, there is popularity of Modi and mobilization. There is anger against Trinamool Congress. That is a factor. Polarisation is a factor. The anti-incumbency against Trinamool that has opened the doors for BJP, their ability to polarize and SC votes," he said.
He said a major problem was that for 20 years "everything has been done to appease the minorities" and added that there had been a feeling that the government will be formed by a party that gets the support of Muslims. Noting that Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left had been part of this ecosystem, Kishor said for the first time Hindus are feeling that "somebody is caring for them". "There is some element that BJP is exploiting and that is coming from blatant misuse of minority politics by some of these parties," he said.
Kishor later tweeted that BJP is taking his chat more seriously than the words of their own leaders.
"I am glad BJP is taking my chat more seriously than words of their own leaders! They should show courage & share the full chat instead of getting excited with selective use of parts of it. I have said this before & repeating again - BJP will not CROSS 100 in WB. Period," he said in a tweet.
"There is no anti-incumbency against Modi. Modi has become a cult in the country. Modi is popular in Bengal. The Hindi speaking people is the core support base of BJP in Bengal. Modi is very popular here. Modi and Mamata are equally popular in Bengal," Kishore said in that conversation.
"When we made a survey and asked people whose government will be formed in Bengal. The outcomes predominantly come in favour of the BJP. The majority says BJP's government will be formed. There are sufficient workers of BJP on the ground. If we leave one or two districts, everywhere there are strong cadets of BJP," added Kishor.
"Suvendu is not a factor. Hindus, schedule caste, Dalit and Hindi speaking population are the key factors. Around 50-55 per cent of Hindus are voting for BJP. There are around one crore Hindi speaking population in West Bengal. Matuas will predominantly vote for the BJP. When we made a survey and asked people whose government will be formed in Bengal. The outcomes predominantly come in favour of the BJP. In-ground there are workers of BJP," explained Kishor.
He further said the parties like Congress, Left and TMC has been practising appeasement politics in West Bengal.
"For the last 20 years, there has been a blatant effort to appease the minority. The entire political ecosystem in Bengal be it Left, Congress or Didi have been to grab the Muslim votes. There is some element that BJP is exploiting. And that element is coming from the blatant misuse of minority politics," he stated.
The election strategist was roped in by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC for the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021.
Recently he has been appointed as the Principal Advisor by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls in the state.
Last year, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin had announced his party's collaboration with Prashant Kishor's poll strategy group Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) for the 2021 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.
Voting for 44 constituencies in West Bengal's fourth phase Assembly elections began at 7 am on Saturday amid tight security.
This phase of the elections is witnessing an intense battle between 373 candidates in 44 constituencies of the state across five districts - Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.
Among the 44 constituencies, nine are in Howrah, 10 in Hooghly, 11 in South 24 Parganas, five in Alipurduar and nine in Cooch Behar.
The fifth phase of the Assembly elections will commence on April 17. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.