NEW DELHI: The BJP’s carpet bombing of the electoral turf in West Bengal appears to be a throwback to the 2015 Bihar state polls when the saffron outfit, fresh from winning a majority in the Lok Sabha for the first time, had launched massive campaigns to wrest power in Patna.
The BJP’s electoral veterans have moved their bases to Kolkata from Maharashtra, Rajasthan and even Madhya Pradesh besides the neighbouring states.
While the full strength of the council of ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are lending their weights to the campaigning in Bengal, the electoral strategists of the BJP, including former party vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, have moved into the state capital.
The BJP had mounted a similar high-voltage campaign in Bihar, bringing leaders from faraway places, in 2015, when the saffron outfit had sought to dislodge the then CM Nitish Kumar from power.
Kumar, aided by electoral strategist Prashant Kishore, had stitched an alliance with the RJD and the Congress, and worked on the local pride to blunt the campaign of the BJP led by the then party chief Amit Shah. The incumbent chief minister of West Bengal, aided by Kishore, is seen taking a leaf out of the Bihar poll strategy of Kumar by coming out with the slogan of Bengal ki beti (daughter of Bengal).
“The BJP has gained rich electoral experiences in the past few years. The party leaders coming from other states will pass on the experiences to the local leaders. They will guide the party workers to knock every door,” said a senior BJP functionary. In Bihar, however, the BJP’s strategy to parachute leaders from other states had backfired, as the party workers had grown cold for being “managed and monitored by outsiders”, said another party functionary.