KOLKATA: More than two-and-a-half-months after West Bengal’s Assembly results shattered the BJP’s dream of bagging over 200 seats, a key back-room strategist of the saffron camp, in a closed-door meeting, admitted that the Uttar Pradesh brand of Hindutva rhetoric failed to fetch votes in ‘secular’ Bengal.
At the meeting with the party’s Bengal functionaries, Shivprakash, BJP’s joint national general secretary (organisation), who was deployed to Bengal to derail TMC-led government, purportedly said, “Attempts to polarise the electorate on the lines of religion did not work in secular Bengal. UP brand of Hindutva politics did not appeal to most of the voters.”
He also made it clear that the party’s Hindutva rhetoric led to the consolidation of the vote-bank of minorities, who form 30% of the total electorate, and failed to take the majority of the voters into confidence.
Sources in Bengal BJP said it was the first time that a national leader admitted the party’s tactical error in the recent high-octane Assembly elections. “He also admitted that not paying heed to our warning that the Hindutva narrative would not work in Bengal was a mistake,” said a BJP leader in Kolkata.