As the calendar year is changing dates from 2020 to 2021, the heat quotient in Bengal politics is rising higher especially for the BJP in Bengal. The high-decibel elections have put everyone on the front foot.
The heat has reached Gujarat as well. The RSS is discussing Mission Bengal this week in Ahmedabad from January 5 to 7 in their ‘Samanvay Baithak’. A major concern of Sangh leaders is the influx of Trinamool Congress leaders and cadre into the BJP. Their loyalty and inclination remain an issue of doubt, especially when other family members of these TMC turncoats remain associated with TMC. The barrel seemed to be pointed towards Suvendu Adhikari, whose father Shishir Adhikari asserted his affiliations with Mamata Bannerjee. Suvendu, the Nandigram agitation mastermind, is said to hold influence over 35 assembly constituencies in various districts of Bengal including Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, Birbhum, and Midnapore.
Will Suvendu Adhikary gain from joining BJP?
Had Suvendu formed a separate regional party with his family members, he would have performed well in some 35-40 constituencies as mentioned above. With these many seats, a pre or post-election coalition would have been needed to come to power. It would also be difficult for the Adhikari family to hurl the allegations of nepotism at TMC had they formed a family party of their own.
But with BJP in Bengal, the chances of coming to power are increased. In the 294 seats of West Bengal assemblies, 148 are needed to gain a clear majority. If we take cues from the 2019 Lok Sabha election performance, BJP has a winning chance at 120 seats. If a lead at 30 more seats is gained, then no one can stop the lotus from blooming.
Rumors have it that Suvendu is likely to be made the Chairman of Jute Corporation of India, which is a body of huge importance in Bengal. This effectively means an elevation to Cabinet rank without even bothering about the election result.
Adhikari brother with 14 Councilors and 5000 workers quit TMC to join BJP in Bengal
Recently, in another jolt to Mamata, Soumendu Adhikari along with a host of other leaders and party workers have left TMC over a spat with the state government in the Contai Municipality. They raised questions over the growing nepotism in TMC. The accusation goes that TMC no longer cares for its slogan of ‘Ma, Mati, Manush’ (mother, motherland, and people). It has become a ‘private limited company, sidelining leaders to establish Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Bannerjee.
As more members from the Adhikari family join BJP, the family dominated seats would be easier to consolidate without any swaying of votes. Father Shirshir Adhikari and brother Dibyendu Adhikari are yet to come into the BJP camp.
Amit Shah to visit Bengal again in January
This would be Amit Shah’s third Bengal visit in three consecutive months. In the previous two visits, Amit Shah gathered at a huge crowd at Bolpur and was instrumental in the tsunami of defections from TMC. He had promised to transform Bengal into ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal) under the guidance of PM Modi.
To get the pulse of the state, BJP conducted an internal survey with the help of party workers, media persons, to judge the BJP stronghold seats. The report shall be ready by next week by January 9 or 10, based on which BJP in Bengal strategy would be tweaked. As has been BJP’s strategy everywhere else, it tries to work on its weaker areas with full vigor. Now with his January visit, hopes are high again. Politics enthusiasts are guessing whether he would try to sway Shishir Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari into the BJP club. Or he has some bigger plans this time to realize his goal of 200 seats for Mission Bengal.