BJP eyes West Bengal to offset seat loss

The BJP is seemingly counting on the block of 89 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal (42), Odisha (21), and the Northeast (26) to compensate for a possible loss of seats in other states, such as UP. 

Published: 07th February 2019 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2019 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

Senior BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan being garlanded at the party’s rally at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district of West Bengal on Wednesday | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Desperately searching for fresh footholds to compensate for the anticipated losses in its traditional strongholds in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP, as part of its ‘Mission 89’, is apparently looking at West Bengal as a fertile ground on the lines of Tripura. 

The BJP’s carpet-bombing of Bengal with rallies is set to intensify in the coming days. With a hostile state administration allegedly putting obstacles in the way, the saffron outfit is readying to turn Jharkhand as the launch pad for campaigning in the state.

“The BJP is set for a perfect launch in West Bengal. Our booth-level committees of 20 workers each are not only in place, but highly charged up. The BJP is building on the ‘poribartan’ (change) plank, and support is pouring overwhelmingly as seen in the rallies of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah,” said a senior party leader. 

The BJP is seemingly counting on the block of 89 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal (42), Odisha (21), and the Northeast (26) to compensate for a possible loss of seats in other states, such as UP. 
With BJP leaders being denied permission to land in the state, the party is drawing comfort from the fact that the actions of the state government are helping it garner media attention and perhaps public sympathy, too. 

The BJP is focusing on south and north Bengal and tribal areas for maximum gains. The indication that it will pour maximum energy in Bengal comes from the fact that Shah has instructed all current and former BJP CMs, besides Union ministers, to visit the state before the EC announces the poll schedule. 

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