BJP’s influence on Bengal masses rising: Surveys


Team Udayavani, Nov 2, 2020, 12:33 PM IST

Kolkata: There is a growing acceptance for the BJP among the masses in West Bengal as an alternative to the ruling TMC but the party has to address organisational issues in some areas, as per two internal surveys.

The saffron party, which aims to unseat Mamata Banerjee’s TMC from power in next year’s assembly elections, had engaged two agencies to conduct separate surveys in 78,000 booths in the state to gauge people’s mood, assess the strengths and weaknesses of both the BJP and its rivals and winnability of its candidates, sources privy to the development said on Monday.

The party has commissioned another similar survey that will begin by the end of this month, they said.

The findings of the previous surveys, conducted in 2019-end and July, have been tabled before the BJP top brass. This will be vital in preparing the party’s strategy for the assembly polls due in April-May next year, they added.

The second survey has found that corruption charges levelled against the TMC in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan have changed the ground realities more in favour of the BJP, the sources said.

“Although there was a wave of support for the BJP in last year’s Lok Sabha elections, parliamentary and assembly elections are different ball games and we don’t want to take chances. So, the surveys were conducted to assess the ground realities,” a BJP central leader said.

The party’s central unit had appointed the agencies and only a few state BJP leaders were aware of it. The party had conducted similar surveys before the Lok Sabha elections, he said.

Post-Lok Sabha elections, the surveys were conducted on the strengths and weakness of the party and its rivals in an area, issues the masses were concerned about, and policies of the state government, he said.

After having a limited presence in the politically polarised state for decades, the BJP has emerged as the main rival of the Trinamool Congress, winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the 2019 general elections.

The saffron party had secured 40.5 per cent votes and was ahead in more than 125 of the 294 assembly seats in the state.

The BJP is eyeing to win more than 220 seats in next year’s elections.

Both the surveys were very optimistic about the BJP’s prospects in the next assembly elections, the party’s central leader said.

“The surveys have pointed out that there is growing resentment against the TMC government’s 10-year rule and the BJP, which is now the prime opposition in the state, is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of this resentment.

“However, we need to address organisational weakness in some areas and infighting among certain sections. But we are confident of plugging those gaps and ousting the TMC from power in the assembly elections,” he said.

The survey reports will be of immense importance for candidate selection as they will name the most popular leaders with the highest chance of winning, another BJP leader said.

“For example, of the 294 constituencies, if the names are unanimous in 150 seats in both the surveys, it is quite obvious they will get the tickets if there are no major changes,” he said.

Apart from these three surveys, the party will collect reports from all the district units on the ground realities. All the four reports will be compiled and will reflect while preparing the manifesto, candidates and election issues, he said.

 

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