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West Bengal

BJP’s high profile campaign may be a game changer in Bengal politics

Kolkata, Jan 28 : With an eye on the next general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to begin its high profile campaign from February 2, claiming that it would prove to be a "game changer" in West Bengal politics.

After BJP attempts failed to organise a “save democracy Rath yatra”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to fly down to West Bengal on February 2 to address two public rallies and another on February 8 to begin the campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Mr Modi is expected to arrive on February 2 and address two rallies, Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas and at Asansol, an industrial town of Burdwan where central minister Babul Supriya won the 2014 Parliament poll, the party sources here today said.

Apart from Prime Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah, several top BJP leaders and chief ministers such as Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradhan Nirmala Sitharaman, Uma Bharati and Giriraj Singh, Shanawaj Hossain, Yogi Adityanath, Biplab Kumar Deb, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh are also among those who will address the saffron party's rallies.

According to party sources, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb would address two rallies at Ghatal and Arambag in West Medinipur and Hooghly districts respectively on January 29.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to campaign first at Bankura and then its neighbouring district of Purulia on February 3 before flying to north Bengal's Balurghat and Raigunj on February 5.

This is for the first time that the BJP has undertaken a political campaign of such huge magnitude in the state. The part witnessed significant electoral gains and has lately emerged as the main opposition party in the state.

In recent elections, the BJP made the most strident gains in backward districts such as West Midnapore, Jhargram, Purulia and Bankura that have nominal Muslim population.

The party chief Amit Shah had set a target of winning 23 Lok Sabha seats out of 42 seats in the state.

In West Bengal alone, the party will win 23 of the state’s 42 seats, he said.

The BJP won only two seats from West Bengal in 2014.

In several by-elections held since the 2016 assembly polls, the BJP has emerged as the biggest competition to the ruling Trinamool Congress by outsmarting the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress.

The party has already prepared a blue print and has also chalked out seats where the BJP's chances of winning is more than 60 to 70 per cent. The seats are spread across north Bengal, south Bengal and tribal-dominated districts of Junglemahal, said a senior BJP leader

Some of the seats which the BJP will be targeting in the next Lok Sabha polls are Balurghat, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Malda North in north Bengal and Purulia, Jhargram, West Medinipur, Krishnagar, Howrah in south Bengal, he said.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O' Brien on Sunday declared in Odisha that the party will contest in 14 states in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Trinamool Congress is a National Party. We have 34 MPs in the Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha 13 MPs. We have taken a decision to fight elections in 14 states. We have been the chief opposition party in Manipur. We had MLAs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.

“We, Trinamool Congress, do not do things in a hurry. Trinamool Congress means grassroots. We will put up candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. When and where we will do that, this decision will be taken by the Trinamool Congress working committee. The current situation of the country is dangerous. There is only big talk and nothing is happening. You know the numbers regarding unemployment,” Mr O’Brien said.

He said because of good governance, Trinamool Congress has won 211 seats in 2016. Now the ordinary people and every political party is saying ‘2019 BJP Finish’. (UNI)