BJP to woo non-Bengalis of Kolkata's Bhowanipore

Bhowanipore is the microcosm of a cosmopolitan Kolkata with sizeable Marwari, Bihari, Punjabi and Gujarati populations.

Published: 12th September 2021 11:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2021 11:08 AM   |  A+A-

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses BJP Bengal unit workers in Bankura.

FILE | Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses BJP Bengal unit workers in Bankura. (Photo | PTI)

KOLKATA:  The BJP is attempting to coalesce the over 40% non-Bengali speaking voters in Bhowanipore to mount a serious challenge to the electoral machine of the TMC, which steamrolled the saffron party in the recent Assembly polls. BJP leaders said their strategy envisages star campaigners being roped in from the native states of the non-Bengali voters to gain traction while seeking to portray Mamata as a ‘traitor’ for abandoning the constituency to contest from Nandigram earlier this year.

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Bhowanipore is the microcosm of a cosmopolitan Kolkata. The segment has sizeable Marwari, Bihari, Punjabi and Gujarati populations. Mamata, too, seeks to harness the linguistic and cultural pluralities as was witnessed in the choice of her four proposers, which included a Gujarati, a Punjabi, a Bihar and one Muslim. BJP sources said Dinesh Trivedi, former TMC MP who defected to the BJP recently, would campaign in wards 70 and 72 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).

“These two wards in Bhowanipore are dominated by Gujaratis. Since Trivedi is also from the same state, his task is to consolidate the vote,” said a BJP leader. Wards 63, 70 and 74 are dominated people hailing from Bihar. “We will bring singer Manoj Tiwari for campaigning in these pockets,” the BJP leader said.
Another of Mamata’s strong voters’ base, Muslims, has a negligible presence (8%) here. But the BJP does not want to take any chance.



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