West Bengal assembly polls: BJP looks east, hopes for Southern swing

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The ballot date announcement on Friday has set the stage in Bengal for an thrilling end-game to a contest that would finish in a photo-finish. Three massive blocs are within the operating however the gradual post-2016 decimation of the Left Front Congress mix in massive elements of Bengal signifies a straight struggle between Trinamool Congress and BJP, which has pulled out all stops to win a state that has voted left and centre since Independence.

TMC has misplaced three ministers and 14 MLAs — most of them within the final 4 months — with former state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari being the most important of BJP’s catches. Rajib Banerjee, Sovan Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Dutta and Sunil Mandal have been the opposite important ones.

But Bengal’s social gathering in workplace since 2011 has insisted that no defections matter so long as CM Mamata Banerjee has a direct line to Bengal’s voters. Mamata, in a transfer to additional reinforce that direct line, has declared that she’s going to contest from Nandigram in addition to her residence constituency of Bhowanipore in south Kolkata.

Nandigram, together with Singur in Hooghly, has great symbolism in Bengal politics; the 2 actions originating from these two locations in the course of the LF regime’s final time period in workplace catapulted TMC and Banerjee to a decade in workplace in Bengal.
Mamata’s return to one in all them signifies her willingness to take the battle to the Adhikari clan’s residence turf and her social gathering’s going again to its roots, say TMC managers. The social gathering will rely solely on Banerjee’s charisma and her social-welfare schemes and “development work” of the final 10 years to enchantment to voters to offer it another time period in workplace.

BJP has a number of faces, comprising TMC defectors in addition to the social gathering’s previous guard represented by state unit head Dilip Ghosh and Union minister Babul Supriyo. It additionally has outsized dependence on central heavyweights — PM Modi, Union residence minister Amit Shah, social gathering chief J P Nadda and central minder Kailash Vijayvargiya — and has avoided projecting a transparent CM face, a transfer that has clicked in states like UP however is but untested in Bengal.

Several areas have turn out to be central to each events’ plans however the battle could lastly be received or misplaced in south Bengal (Birbhum, East and West Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah, East and West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Nadia, North and South 24-Parganas and Kolkata), which account for 218 seats within the 294-member assembly.

The presence of a big variety of Muslim and Hindi-speaking Hindu voters sharing house with the Bengali middle-class means a fancy net of things — “identity politics” to “development politics” — can be at play.

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