BY NAVNEET MISHRA
New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) The prediction of then national president Amit Shah about West Bengal during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections almost turned out to be prophetic. Today Home Minister Amit Shah has again created a stir saying that the BJP will win more than 200 seats in the Assembly elections in Bengal next year.
So confident is Home Minister Shah about winning 200 seats in Bengal that he told workers in Bankura on Thursday, “Those who don’t believe me can laugh, but I am saying that the BJP will form the government by winning more than 200 seats.”
After a long interval, Home Minister Amit Shah appears to have acquired an aggressive posture, for which he is known. After winning the war with Coronavirus, Home Minister Shah chose West Bengal for his first visit, and this can be really significant.
A senior BJP leader told IANS, “After regaining his health, Home Minister Amit Shah has made his priority clear by making his first visit to Bengal. In the BJP’s national executive meeting at Bhubaneswar in 2017, he had categorically stated that the BJP’s golden age would begin with a victory in Bengal and Odisha. Shah wants to fulfil his dream in the 2021 assembly elections.”
The two-day Bengal visit of Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday and Friday makes his strategy of playing the Dalit and tribal card in the state clear. On Thursday, he ate at the home of a tribal worker at Chaturdihi village in tribal-dominated Bankura district. The 55 lakh to 60 lakh tribals in the state often decide who wins or loses. Home Minister Shah has tried to bring this section closer to the BJP by eating at the home of a tribal family. On the second day of his visit, he ate at the home of a matua family in Gaurangnagar. The people of the Matua sect fall in the scheduled castes category.
As per the 2011 census, the Dalit population in Bengal is about 1.85 crore. Of these as many as 80 lakh are part of the matua community. The BJP wants to increase its influence in the Matua community since on many seats people from the community are in a position to influence voting. Sources said Home Minister Shah also ate at the house of the Matua community member since it shows the closeness of the community to the BJP. During the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ram temple, the community had sent water and soil from Bengal.
So, what are Shah’s plans for Mission Bengal? The Home Minister had appealed to the workers in Bankura to work with integrity on a special action plan. He said that the party can win more than 200 seats working on this plan. BJP sources said Shah has evolved a number of action plans for workers that need to be implemented on the ground over the next few months.
The party will take the ‘appeasement policies’ of the Trinamool government to the people. During his two-day visit, he accused the Mamata Banerjee government of appeasement. The BJP will continue to be aggressive on issues such as non-implementation of central government schemes, misuse of funds from the Centre and the law and order niggles.
The party will also go to the public and clarify its vision for the development of West Bengal. The BJP also wants to take advantage of the anti-incumbency factor against the Mamata Banerjee government that has been in power since 2011.
A BJP national functionary told IANS, “If Home Minister Amit Shah is talking about winning more than 200 seats, he must have conducted his own survey about it. In the Lok Sabha elections, he spoke of wining more than 300 seats and the results are known to everybody. In West Bengal, he predicted 22 seats and about 18 seats came into its kitty. So, 200 seats isn’t an exaggeration.”
BY NAVNEET MISHRA