Bengal BJP Divided On Strategy For 2021 State Polls
A woman walks past Bharatiya Janata Party flags flying at a road in Kacharibari More, West Bengal, India, on April 29, 2019. Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/BloombergTopics  

Bengal BJP Divided On Strategy For 2021 State Polls

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After the Bhartiya Janata Party's defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections, poll managers of its West Bengal unit are divided whether to push its aggressive strategy on the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens or mellow it down and lace it with alternate policies of governance.

BJP which recently suffered a defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party - winner of the polls for the third consecutive time in Delhi on the plank of good governance - is in two minds about its strategy for 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal.

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, the party saw the opposite result in assembly polls in Delhi, a senior state BJP leader said. BJP cannot take West Bengal assembly elections for granted because it won 18 seats in the Lok Sabha, he added, on the condition of anonymity.

The national party needs to change its strategy for state elections, he said, adding that 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.

The campaign should not only highlight implementation of CAA and need for NRC, but also lay similar stress on alternate and better policies of governance, the BJP leader said.

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.

BJP needs to keep up its tempo and aggressive strategy if it wants to counter a party like the TMC, a different BJP leader said. A change in strategy will be considered as retreat and send the wrong message to party cadres, he added.

Also read: Delhi Elections: Mamata May Find It Tough To Replicate Kejriwal’s Strategy, Says Yogendra Yadav

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