West Bengal polls: BJP divided on strategy for 2021 state elections

After the BJP's defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections, poll managers of its West Bengal unit are divided whether to push its aggressive strategy on the CAA-NRC or mellow it down and lace it with alternate policies of governance.

The BJP that recently suffered a defeat at the hands of the AAP, which won the polls for the third consecutive time on the plank of good governance, is in two minds about its strategy for 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal.

According to state BJP sources, just like West Bengal where the party won 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 Parliamentary polls, it had won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

"But within a few months, we saw that the results are completely opposite in Lok Sabha polls and Assembly polls in Delhi. So we cannot take it for granted that just because we won 18 seats in Bengal, we will also win the Assembly polls."

"So we need to change our strategy for state elections. It is not necessary that what works for national elections will also work for state polls. Our campaign should not only highlight implementation of CAA and need for NRC. It should also lay similar stress on alternate and better policies of governance," a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

Since last year, the demand for NRC to weed out infiltrators and the new citizenship law has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with the TMC opposing them tooth and nail, and the BJP pressing for its implementation.

Another section of the state BJP unit, considered close to state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, is of the opinion that there is no need for a change in the party's strategy in West Bengal, as aggressive politics have yielded positive results for the party.

"If you want to counter a party like the TMC, you have to keep up the tempo and your aggressive strategy. It has helped us. Our campaign on the issues of the new Citizenship bill and the proposed NRC had yielded good results in Lok Sabha polls.

"If we change our strategy it will be considered that we are retreating. This would send a wrong message to our party cadres. Obviously we will have an alternate set of governance policies but that doesn't mean diluting our campaign over CAA-NRC," the BJP leader said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel