I recently met my West Bengal friends, they told me Bengal and Didi are made for each other. BJP has gained a lot of popularity in the recent past but their politics is communal, they may take some good vote shares but defeating Didi is not so easy. TMC also has strong roots here. There would be tough competition between them. In the 2016 Assembly Election BJP made inroads in WB with 3 seats with a vote share of 10.16% (comparatively increase of 5.56% as compared to the 2011 election).
In the 2014 General Election BJP managed to get 2 seats with a vote share of 17.05% (an increase of 10.88%). In the 2019 General Election BJP really played well in WB earning 18 seats with a vote share of 40.25% (An increase of 22.25% as compared to the 2014 election). TMC was able to secure 43.28%. Looking at these numbers we can say BJP has earned good numbers here. But is that enough for winning?
BJP’s core agenda still is Hindutva, Ram Mandir, Jai Shree Ram chanting but none of their leaders spoke about development. Modi also criticised Mamata and made a very embarrassing statement but made no mention of development or infrastructure. Meanwhile, CAA and NRC to identify the illegal immigrants and send them back to the country of origin was another major agenda that has not gone well with the West Bengal population.
After the formation of the federal government for the second time, West Bengal has become the main target of the Modi-Shah alliance after establishing control over all the important states of India either individually or by forming alliances. Unfortunately, they lost it in Maharashtra but now they don’t want to lose Bengal.
Bengal elections may go the Delhi way. Although BJP increased its vote share from 32 to 40% in the assembly election from 2015 but decreased by 14% from Lok Sabha 2019. BJP had no candidate against the popularity of Kejriwal. Similarly, BJP doesn’t have a strong candidate against Mamata in West Bengal. BJP may increase its vote share & seats in assembly elections but is unlikely to defeat Mamata.
West Bengal is not only the second-largest state in India in terms of population but also at the junction of North-East India with the mainland of India. It shares borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan. Not far away from China, Myanmar and Nepal. As a state, after Kashmir, Assam and West Bengal are the most populous Muslim regions in terms of population.
In 2019, the BJP-led central government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) in the Indian Parliament, promising to grant citizenship to Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh and providing them with housing. West Bengal has about 28 per cent of Muslim voters. The BJP wants to implement its NRC plan at four levels. Minority voters don’t want to buy these promises from BJP.
Many want TMC to win because they believe BJP will compromise the peace of the state with riots and communal clashes. 18 MPs of BJP were elected in 2019. But they have not done anything for the people of Bengal. Only religion should not be an issue. TMC has done many reforms and development works.
As per the micro-level scenario, BJP may win in the Northern part of West Bengal and rural districts, including Burdwan, Dinajpur (North and South), and Murshidabad. People from these areas are actually fed up with this current government, and they see BJP as the best alternative (despite knowing the fact that BJP lacks a proper CM face in the state). They want proper coordination between the Central and the State government, which is currently lacking due to the egoistic nature of Mamata Banerjee.
Even though the State government employees have total control of the Election Machinery on a voting day, it is very difficult for a rival Political party to perform to its expectations on Election Day in the State of West Bengal.