BJP May Add More Bengalis in Modi Cabinet to Steamroll Mamata in 2021 Assembly Polls
The BJP's strategy in assembly polls will be two-fold: One, weaken the TMC and its cadre and two, clamp down on the Trinamool's myriad corruption cases.
File photo of PM Modi (PTI)
So far as the BJP is concerned, the fight for Bengal has just begun. With 18 MPs from a state that had so far resisted it, the saffron party is likely to give a number of cabinet berths as part of its plan ahead of the 2021 assembly polls.
In 2014, two MPs from the state — SS Ahluwalia and Babul Supriyo — were given cabinet berths. While Supriyo has received a call to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet, party sources indicated that the list also included Raigunj MP Debasree Chaudhuri who defeated Left leader Mohammad Salim from the Raiganj seat.
Ahead of Mamata Banerjee’s electoral victory in 2011, her MPs and ministers in the Union cabinet had, over decades, continuously campaigned in Bengal. As railway minister, Banerjee had famously showered Bengal with projects while arguing that “the CPI(M) in the state had done nothing for Bengal”.
The BJP's campaign is likely to be similar, said leaders, with one key difference: Narendra Modi.
"The BJP MPs will also campaign in the state but the issue at hand will not be focused around a project here and there. Instead, the MPs will campaign on the plank of Modi, on the work that he is doing and how Banerjee is continuing to act like a speed-breaker for development," said the BJP.
The immediate challenge for the BJP though will be the Municipal Elections in the state next year. With over 50 councillors joining the BJP, the party is all set to capture four municipalities in the North 24 Parganas district. Incumbent Barrackpore MP and former Bhatpara municipality chairman Arjun Singh said, “It is just the matter of time.” With the TMC’s strength now concentrated in the urban areas around Kolkata, BJP leaders said the party would soon make inroads in suburbs of Kolkata, including Biddhannagar and Barasat.
A BJP state committee leader, who had prepared a 10-page presentation for Amit Shah ahead of 2019 polls and is creating a similar document now, summarised the party’s strategy as two-fold. “Weaken the TMC, steadily. Make inroads into their cadre and oppose them on the streets. On the other hand, the Union government will come crashing down on TMC’s myriad corruption cases. The net result is to make Mamata unsteady…not give her any breathing space and force her into making wrong decisions,” he said.
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