KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari’s comment that people killed in the post-election violence in West Bengal were those who believed in Hinduism, blew the conch shells and worshiped Tulsi sapling and Goddess Durga, triggered a division within the saffron camp.
Many BJP leaders said the party’s Hindutva rhetoric has failed as is shown by the Assembly election results.
They say it not only consolidated Muslim votes in favour of the ruling party but also the votes of a section of Hindus who are against politics on the lines of religion.
“We also observed a virtual meet over the death of our 125 party workers since 2019. The post-poll violence was also on the agenda in the meeting. Many leaders raised the issue. The Leader of Opposition played the religious card identifying the victims of post-poll violence as Hindus. We do not support this because we already have taken a lesson from the recent Assembly elections in which our party went all out on the lone of Hindutva rhetoric,” said a BJP leader.
While explaining the advantage that the ruling TMC bagged because of the saffron camp’s attempt to polarise electorates on the line of religion, the leader said, “As a result, the Congress and RSP failed to retain its traditional vote bank in Murshidabad, Malda and North Dinajpur districts, which are known as minority-dominated pockets. The TMC had a sweeping victory in these areas."
The ruling party’s vote-share went up to 48 per cent, which is 5 per cent increase compared to its performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The party “should abandon playing religious card for the time being,’’ said another BJP leader.