Home INDIA Bengal BJP’s Lok Sabha Ambitions Hinge On Left-Congress Performance, CAA: Experts

Bengal BJP’s Lok Sabha Ambitions Hinge On Left-Congress Performance, CAA: Experts

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Bengal BJP's Lok Sabha ambitions depend on Left Congress's performance, CAA: experts


Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar claimed that the party will win 35 seats in the state.


The West Bengal BJP, which political analysts say is grappling with internal discord, organizational shortcomings and the revival of the Left-Congress alliance, is taking on the daunting task of securing 35 Lok Sabha seats in the national elections, with CAA implementation being the key to securing the elections. achieve his goal.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP put up a stellar performance in West Bengal, winning 18 seats and 40 percent of the vote share. Buoyed by its success, the party has set an ambitious target of winning 35 seats in these elections.

While the party is banking heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma, it is also trying to reap the benefits of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, though political analysts warn that CAA could prove to be a “double-edged sword” for the BJP.

They believe that the CAA could unite the Hindu community but also provoke a backlash from minority groups.

The BJP’s prospects in West Bengal also depend heavily on the momentum of the Left-Congress alliance, which is gradually gaining strength in the state’s 42 Lok Sabha constituencies.

West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said the party is not only hopeful but also confident of winning 35 seats in the state.

However, a section of BJP leaders pointed out a host of internal and external challenges faced by the saffron camp in the state on the way to achieving its goal.

“The biggest challenge for the party lies in getting its organization in order, which has been in tatters since the 2021 election debacle. We still do not have people to appoint booth agents in over 80,000 booths in the state,” the former chief minister said. BJP national secretary Anupam Hazra said.

Hazra, who shares a strained relationship with the current state leadership, alleged that internal conflict and lack of coordination at the grassroots level have hampered the BJP’s efforts to consolidate its position in the state, as evidenced by the series of electoral losses since the Assembly elections of 2021. loss.

Since 2021, eight MLAs and two MPs have shifted their allegiance to the TMC. Only one of them, MP Arjun Singh, has returned to the BJP.

In 2019, the BJP secured 40 percent of the vote share. However, this dropped slightly to 38 percent in the 2021 parliamentary elections. Despite growing from 10 percent of the vote and three parliamentary seats in 2016 to 77 seats in 2021, they failed to seize power.

The decline in vote share started with the Bhabanipur poll, where it fell from 35 percent in May 2021 to 22 percent in October the same year, and this trend has continued.

In elections to 108 other civic bodies, the BJP managed to secure only 12.57 percent of the votes.

In last year’s panchayat polls, the party secured 22 per cent vote share, securing the third position, just one per cent less than the Left-Congress-ISF alliance.

The revival of the Left-Congress alliance further complicates the BJP’s electoral strategy and poses a huge challenge to the party.

Till 2021, the shift in votes from these parties to the BJP had contributed to the growth of the saffron party in the state.

However, after the 2021 Assembly elections, the Left and Congress witnessed a revival, with their alliance wresting the Sagardighi seat from the TMC in the 2023 by-elections.

A BJP leader said the re-emergence of the Left-Congress-ISF alliance could hamper the consolidation of anti-TMC votes in favor of the saffron party, especially in South Bengal constituencies.

“Since the Left and Congress in West Bengal did not fight the 2019 elections together, we had a clear path to capture all the anti-TMC votes. In a three-way battle, however, these votes are likely to be split. ,” the senior BJP leader noted.

“However, a three-cornered contest could also provide opportunities to the BJP in certain seats, especially if the minority votes are divided. The impact of the Left-Congress-ISF alliance was clearly visible in minority-dominated seats, as reflected in the Sagardighi bypoll. ” he said.

The consolidation of anti-TMC votes led to a notable increase in the BJP’s vote share, from 17 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2019, while its number of seats increased from two to 18.

While the TMC’s vote share increased by three percent to 43 percent, the number of seats in Parliament fell from 34 to 22.

However, the BJP leaders hope to capitalize on the polarization in the majority community, especially in the Matua-dominated constituencies, by using CAA as a crucial issue.

Majumdar claimed that “CAA will help the BJP defeat the elections in the state”.

On the other hand, the BJP, which does not have a robust organizational strength like that of the TMC, has not been successful in countering the TMC’s campaign against the CAA, which would take away citizenship.

Making matters worse, the All India Matua Mahasangha, a major organization of the Matua community, has advised its members to apply for Indian citizenship under the new law only after the new government takes charge at the Center has taken.

“The TMC is trying its best to mislead the masses on CAA, but they will not succeed,” Majumdar said.

The BJP is also betting on the Sandeshkhali issue, where locals have accused TMC leaders of sexually abusing women in the area.

In north Bengal, a strong base for the BJP, which had won seven of the region’s eight seats in 2019, dissatisfaction over ticket distribution is growing.

Political scientist Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury said the impact of the implementation of the CAA is still unclear.

“BJP could benefit from the CAA, but it could also backfire,” he said.

Political analyst Subhomoy Maitra said the BJP’s electoral performance depends on how the Left-Congress alliance performs.

“The alliance’s potential to reduce anti-TMC votes in the state is key to the BJP’s success,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WhatsNew2Day staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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