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    Bengal BJP to deal with its fault lines to do better in 2026 Assembly polls

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    State CPI(M) clueless as no strategy is working to get out of zero syndrome

    By Tirthankar Mitra

    KOLKATA: Roundly defeated by ruling Trinamool Congress in recently held elections, BJP, Congress and CPI(M) leaderships in West Bengal have gone into brainstorming sessions to find out the cause of their respective electoral reverses. Though all the three parties are seeking to strike deeper roots with a larger section of the people, the game plans to hit the “come back trails” differ.

     

    With 12 candidates of the BJP winning from this state, it is chalking out plans to consolidate these victories with an eye on the 2026 Assembly elections in the state. Meeting a larger section of the people in all these Assembly seats making up each parliamentary constituency and propagating the BJP's political philosophy in a language which they can understand will be the cornerstone of this policy, it was learnt from state BJP sources.

     

    The language in which the people are to be addressed needs to be freed of Hindi words which are unfamiliar to the ears of the Bengali voters. Both meetings at local levels and social media interactions will be the twin tools to reach out to the voters. . An internal analysis showed that in 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP led in 90 assembly segments out of the total seats of 294 as against77 won in 2021 assembly polls. So that way, though the Lok Sabha seats had gone down by six in 2024 polls, the prospects in assembly polls in 2026 look slightly better.

     

    Zeroing in on the words of the saffron lexicon which are unfamiliar to the people of West Bengal, it has been pointed out that Bengali equivalents of these words are to be used to embed the saffron camp ideology in the mindset of the people of the state. It has been suggested that instead of “karyakarta”, the word “neta” or leader should be used.

     

    Instead of “suchana”, it is advisable to state that a person would be informed of a specific issue, it was learnt. Apart from this, campaigns highlighting achievements of the BJP-led NDA and shortcomings of TMC dispensation should be conducted statewide.

     

    Such campaigns are to be marked out by its widespread nature and frequency. Several level BJP leaders have pointed out that the party could have retained the 18 constituencies it had won in 2019 and added a few more this year had a more vigorous campaign been carried throughout the past five years instead of being active only in pre Lok Sabha polls months.

     

    Financial probity of several leaders have come under the scanner after complaints from candidates and booth level activists reached the national leadership of the BJP after the Lok Sabha polls. Several activists manning polling booths alleged that they did not receive the sum promised to them.

     

    Things have come to such a pass that BJP nominee for Krishnanagar, Amrita Roy alleged she was clueless about spending of party funds in her constituency during election though she was made to sign several cheques. Roy was one of the few BJP nominees in the state when Prime Minister Narendra Modi rang up to encourage.

     

    The attendance of huge crowds in the rallies of Prime Minister, Modi and other senior BJP leaders not being reflected at the ballot boxes have raised queries about the organisational skills of the state leadership. Several state leaders have been grilled by their national counterparts in BJP on this issue.

     

    With the strong presence of central para-military forces before and during elections, the plea of terror tactics of some TMC backed goons preventing BJP supporters from casting their votes lack credibility, it was pointed out. In this backdrop, the state leadership has been asked to beef up the organisation both in terms of motivation and numbers with an eye on the 2026 elections, sources stated..The central BJP leadership is expected to make its own review of Bengal party's performance shortly and on that basis, the state BJP will adopt future programmes to fight better in 2026 assembly polls.

     

    As regards the Congress, an electoral alliance between Congress and the Left-read CPI(M) in West Bengal is under scanner as the national leadership of Congress is playing ball with TMC to corner BJP. Though most of the state Congress leaders are opposed to TMC, their position has weakened after PCC chief Adhir Ranjan Choudhury whose opposition to TMC is well known, was defeated in his pocket borough Behrampore.

     

    The CPI(M) which is staunchly opposed to TMC is also having second thoughts about continuing its alliance with Congress. Ever since the alliance came into being in 2016, Congress has reaped the most advantages from it.  In the 2024 Lok Sabha polls also, the Congress got one seat while the CPI(M) and other parties of the Left Front got no seat just like the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

     

    But as things stand now, the state Congress will be launching agitations against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, sources said. It will however, steer clear of stirs against the Trinamool state government.

     

    Congress -TMC ties received fresh wind in its sails after a closed door meeting between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram at Nabanna, the state secretariat last week. The leaders remained tight-lipped though Banerjee is reported to have received a request to campaign for Priyanka Gandhi at Wayanad.

     

    The Congress is seeking a proactive role from TMC against BJP at the Centre. Though both CPI(M) and TMC are part of the coalition with Congress, the Congress seeks to downplay it's proximity with the Left in the days to come.

     

    With only the Malda (South) seat in its kitty after the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress national leadership wants its counterpart in the state to cement its alliance with TMC at the state level. There have been reports of a drop in the animosity between Congress and TMC activists in the wake of Chidambaram's visit.

     

    With its influence on the downslide in West Bengal, the state Congress unit has ridden on the crest of organisational strength of the CPI(M) all these years. Despite central leadership wooing the Trinamool Congress at the national level, the state Congress is continuing its tie up with the Left in the coming four assembly by polls. Since Adhir Chowdhury may be replaced as the PCC president shortly, the future of the Congress –CPI(M) ties will be decided only after the takeover by the new president.

     

    As regards the Bengal CPI(M),, there was total gloom in the post-election meeting of the state committee held last week. There was no light at the end of the tunnel..The leadership took no lessons from the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as also 2021 assembly elections. The same reasons were mentioned .- the party was the victim of the TMC-BJP binary. However, te party leaders at least agreed that the CPI(M) has lost its political base among the most marginalized sections of the people in Bengal. who stood by the party in substantial number even up to 2016 assembly elections. The downturn of the CPI(M) has been unstoppable in the last eight years. For the Bengal CPI(M), the party is still not reconciled that Mamata Banerjee has hijacked the Left agenda and implemented it vigorously. The CPI(M) has to work for a fresh agenda and carry out a massive organizational rejig if the Party wants to come out of the Zero syndrome in 2026 assembly elections.

     

     

     

    Northlines
    Northlines
    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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