LUCKNOW: Asserting that the wave of public support in favour of the BJP is much stronger in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Sunday said the party will cross the 200-seat mark in the poll-bound eastern state.
"For the past three months, I have been touring West Bengal from the election point of view and interacting with members of the public, party office bearers and workers. Based on the feedback gathered, I can say that the wave of public support is in favour of the BJP in West Bengal this time, much stronger than the one which swept Uttar Pradesh during the 2017 Assembly elections," he told PTI.
Claiming that the days of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) are numbered, Maurya said, "Do maee, didi gayee (May 2, Didi's government gone)." Drawing a comparison between Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the BJP leader said people of the poll-bound state will reject the "buaa-bhatijaa" duo (of Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee) like the way UP rejected the "buaa-bhatijaa" (Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
On the support extended by non-BJP parties to the TMC, Maurya, who is campaigning for the BJP in around 35 assembly seats, said, "The sole aim of these parties is to stop the BJP from coming to power because if the BJP comes to power, their chances of staging a comeback will virtually end. Even if anti-BJP political parties extend support to 'Didi' (Banerjee), she will not be able to escape (from defeat), as the people (of West Bengal) have made up their minds."
He also targeted the TMC supremo over not raising "Jai Shri Ram" slogan.
"Why does 'Didi' get disturbed by Jai Shri Raam slogan? It is solely because of politics of appeasement and to gather the votes of infiltrators," the deputy CM said.
Banerjee had recently declined to speak at an event to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary where "Jai Shri Ram" slogans were raised in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rebutting claims that 'Didi' was still a craze in poll-bound West Bengal in terms of posters and banners, Maurya said, "In the 2017 UP Assembly elections, posters and banners of the Samajwadi Party were seen the most, but the BJP emerged as victorious. This time, hoardings of the Trinamool Congress are most visible because they have misused the government machinery."
"But, I feel that elections are not won by banners and posters. People want to get rid of Trinamool Congress and 'Didi', and want a BJP government. They want to show their faith, which they had reposed in the prime minister," he added.
West Bengal will be voting in eight phases, beginning March 27.
Votes will be counted on May 2.