New Delhi/Kolkata: “Bhag Mamata, Bhag” – is that the crude message from West Bengal’s exit polls ? Many surveys have hinted at a stiff fight for the Chief Minister in Nandigram.
As one analyses various pros and cons of the Exit Polls in West Bengal, it ought to be remembered that besides the Hindutva card and PM Narendra Modi’s pledge of playing a catalyst of development, the BJP strategists also successfully used ‘the issue of corruption’ as a tool against Mamata’s party.
‘Jan Ki Baat’ survey gave a landslide win to the BJP in the Exit Polls saying the saffron party may end up winning 162 to 185 seats. The Trinamool tally may be between 104 and 121 seats.
At the state level, Republic-CNX Exit polls say, the BJP may win 138 to 148 seats — that’s half-way-mark in the 294-member assembly. Counting of votes on May 2 will take place for 292 seats only.
India Today-Axis Exit Polls showed Trinamool may get 44 percent and the BJP may end up just below that arithmetic number – 43. By this, Mamata’s outfit may win between 130-156 seats and the BJP’s number of seats could be between 134 and 160. It could not have gone closer. Simply speaking, as BJP Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh says, the BJP is very much in the game in West Bengal and people have reposed faith in it.
The Exit Polls indicated things may go absolutely wrong for the Congress as the party may miss the chance of returning to power in Assam and Kerala.
In Bengal for BJP, things started from 2014 Lok Sabha polls as the vote share shot up to 17 per cent.
Around January 2015 itself, the BJP had stepped up its attack against Mamata regime on Saradha chit fund scam. There were loopholes in the Trinamool camp, not to forget BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh’s assertive declaration – “Bhag Mamata, Bhag”.
Mamata’s lieutenants could not stomach the taunt essentially drawn from a film’s name and lawmaker Kalyan Banerjee had questioned, “Who is this Siddharth Nath Singh. I know him to be the grandson of Lal Bahadur Shastri, but who gave him authority to speak about Bengal politics”. This was not confidence; it was arrogance. That arrogance had its rustic variety in the voice of Mamata Banerjee herself. Once she screamed, “Who is Amit Shah?”.
Many things have changed since then. BJP started organising rallies and various Trinamool leaders went behind bars. Even soft spoken and articulate floor leader in Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandyopadhyay was arrested and taken to Odisha. An undercurrent of Hindu discontent was brewing and an aggressive Modi-led campaign blitzkrieg in 2014 gave Bengal voters the crucial windows to ventilate their opinions more confidently.
“We will do much better than what has been projected in the surveys and exit polls as the West Bengal politics is known for violence and voters voting in favour of the BJP will not tell the surveyors fearing backlashes,” BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.