BJP’s practice of gaining mileage through religion will again come into play in West Bengal for the General Elections 2019. It is actually thinking on the lines of fielding more and more Muslim candidates to dent the supremacy that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee currently has in West Bengal.
The idea of fielding more candidates from the minorities actually yielded results in the local body election earlier this year. The saffron party fielded over 850 candidates from the minorities community and more than half of them registered victories.
In the last General Elections in 2014, BJP had two minority candidates among the 42 parliamentary constituencies in the entire state.
Since the last general elections, the state has witnessed the growth of saffron brigade at the expense of both Congress and the Left Front and is currently the principal opposition to the ruling Trinamool Congress. Congress and Left Front who allied with each other are almost in tatters.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that it will field more minority candidates as the state has almost 30 per cent of Muslim population at present. “Although in our party, tickets are not distributed on the basis of religion, but we are receiving several applications from people of the minority community, expressing their desire to contest elections on our party ticket,” Ghosh was quoted as saying by PTI.
On the other hand, the ruling Trinamool Congress has trashed BJP’s ploy and said that Muslims in state have full faith in TMC and its leader Mamata Banerjee and this move won’t help them in anyway. “The minorities have full faith in us. The BJP’s strategy is nothing but a farce and the minorities are very well aware of their intentions,” senior TMC leader and education minister Partha Chatterjee was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Ghosh, however, maintained that BJP’s presence in the state has increased in leaps and bounds in the last few years and West Bengal will also have saffron colour as its identity. “We are running the government at the Centre and in more than 20 states, Muslims are living in peace and there are no problems. We believe in development for all,” he said.