Can BJP make inroads in West Bengal?

Bengal politics is not that different from the nation's politics with somewhat similar social drama and social calculations of demography

The big story now in every drawing-room political discussion today is how Mamata Banerjee is failing to find an answer to BJP in West Bengal. With the assembly elections approaching fast the growing restlessness is evident in everyone’s mind regarding the future of Bengal politics. The old veteran madam Banerjee is not known for giving up easily and is expected to go to any extent remain seated on the throne whereas the new contenders BJP is not a pushover either. BJP has done it once and showed its mighty strength and determination by penetrating deep inside the enemy territory in Lok Sabha, the big question remains that can the Chanakya of Indian politics, Amit Shah repeat his success story in the 2021 assembly elections too.

Bengal politics is not that different from the nation’s politics with somewhat similar social drama and social calculations of demography, but one big factor which BJP is vouching upon and which is also unique to the Bengal elections may be the issue of Bangladeshi immigrants and their growing interference in the daily life of the native people. The issue of immigrants will be going to have a buzz in this election. Mamata Banerjee on one hand known for her tough administration but still is unable to give a decisive and satisfactory answer to the problem.

Over and above the immigrant issues Mamata Banerjee has also failed to control violence in the state, something which every single Bengali complains about. The polls are known for their brutal killings and heart-wrenching political murders, something which even makes Uttar Pradesh and Bihar look good. The growing discontent is because the violence is been compounded by the severe crackdown and strict control of the narrative by the Trinamool Congress and government of the day, which prevents the public from venting out their anger and muscles down freedom of speech and expression.

There are many political weak points in the Mamata Banerjee government, it will be interesting to see how Amit Shah and BJP will make their inroads using this faultiness in the Mamata Banerjee Administration. The country is witnessing a major shift in narrative across the length and breadth of the country, right from Bihar to Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and sometime in Madhya Pradesh also, where the incumbent had a hard time winning the hearts of the voters again. Will Bengal continue this trend or will be an exception to this principle is left to observe by the country in this election.

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Pragya Mishra

Senior columnist with interest in economy and government policies.

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