It’s ‘look Bengal’ for BJP now


New Delhi: After the Bihar debacle, BJP is now gearing up for the Bengal battle with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah stewarding the charge.

For this, the party is organizing the Utthan Divas rally in Kolkata on November 30 where Amit Shah will sound the bugle for his party cadres to begin preparation for the ensuing Bengal polls next year.

BJP, however, has to be cautious in distributing tickets to candidates as there were allegations from within the party that candidates with criminal backgrounds competed in the Bihar polls.

The onus will also be on state BJP chief Rahul Sinha who has failed to consolidate the party in West Bengal.

However, he sounded optimistic about the rally.

“On November 30, we will hold Utthan Divas rally in Kolkata. Our national president Amit Shah will address a mammoth gathering. This will be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a series of rallies in the coming months,” Rahul Sinha said.

The state wing of BJP is eagerly waiting for the final nod from Amit Shah, Sinha added.

However, Amit Shah has reportedly postponed the rally.

Moreover, the party’s mixed bag fortune after it came to power in the center is also a major concern.

While, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP grabbed control over the prized seat in Delhi, the Nitish-Lalu entente dented BJP’s plans for Bihar. Furthermore, with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee providing outside support to the Grand Alliance in Bihar, it would be tough for BJP to gain momentum in the state.

Despite gaining momentum in 2014 Parliamentary polls, BJP did not do well in the recent civic polls in West Bengal. Critics attributed the debacle to dearth of national level leaders, unorganized grass-root level cadres, infighting, and lack of streamlined agendas.

Nitish-Lalu’s swashbuckling victory, Mamata’s bastion in West Bengal and BJP’s differences with its allies also indicates the rise of a probable third front in the national politics. So, BJP can ill-afford to get whitewashed in West Bengal.

What can go in BJP’s favour in West Bengal is that former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy is on the verge of floating a political outfit to topple Trinamool Congress. Mukul roy was a mainstay of the party and was instrumental in the party’s success. With state transport minister Madan Mitra embroiled in the Sharda Ponzi, it is high time for BJP to sharpen its claws to make any impact in Bengal.