Udayavni Special

BJP looking to achieve ‘Mission East’ in Bengal, make inroads in south beyond K’taka


Team Udayavani, Feb 28, 2021, 9:15 AM IST

New Delhi: The upcoming assembly polls assume great significance for the BJP as it looks for an ideological victory in West Bengal by achieving “Mission East” and expand its footprint in the south beyond Karnataka.

BJP leaders feel that a better performance in these polls will be a big boost for the party in pushing its reform agenda set in the recently presented Union Budget.

West Bengal is a high-stakes battle for the BJP and its master strategist and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is himself handling the affairs and has set a target of more than 200 seats out of the total 294 assembly constituencies.

Talking about BJP”s prospects in Bengal, where it is running a high-octane campaign, its co-incharge Sunil Menon said the party registered victory in almost 125 assembly segments in the 2019 general elections when it won 18 Lok Sabha seats out of the total 42 and lost narrowly in two.

“The BJP got 41 per cent votes in the 2019 general elections and with every passing day it is improving its position in the state and will emerge victorious in the assembly polls,” he said, adding that it will not only be an electoral success but an ideological victory for the party.

The BJP has its own government or of its allies in all seven northeastern states and is confident of again coming to power in Assam as the Congress will hugely miss the services of Tarun Gogoi who ruled the state for 15 years.

Post the massive victory in 2019 general elections when the BJP swept north-western parts of the country, the party eyes on eastern and southern states to emerge as a force to reckon with and in this context, these elections are of much important to the saffron party.

With the Congress decimated in Puducherry, the BJP with the help of its ally All India NR Congress and AIADMK is confident of opening another front in the south after Karnataka.

“People of Puducherry are fed up with the corruption and misgovernance of the Congress. They want good governance of the Modi government and therefore will want to give BJP a chance this time to serve them,” senior party leader and Union minister Arjun Meghwal said.

He is BJP”s poll-incharge for Puducherry.

Barring Assam and West Bengal, the BJP has nothing much to lose especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala where it is looking to make inroads and its presence felt.

BJP”s incharge for Kerala and Union minister Pralhad Joshi said the party will definitely improve its performance in Kerala and emerge as a third front in the state.

Kerala has been choosing between Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-led LDF.

The Election Commission on Friday announced poll dates in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The elections will begin on March 27, with West Bengal witnessing the maximum of eight phases of polling continuing till April 29. Counting of votes for the four states and Puducherry will be taken up on May 2.

West Bengal polls will be held in eight phases and Assam three while polling for Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry assemblies will take place in a single phase.

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