The people of West Bengal sincerely wanted the autocratic rule of TMC Government to end. West Bengal has witnessed the Congress, Left Front and TMC Governments over the last seven decades. Unfortunately, West Bengal in spite of its glorious past failed to maintain its status and position in the areas of culture, education, industry and over all development.
In this regard, I would like to mention that in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections BJP in Bengal achieved a record of 41% vote share highest ever achieved by BJP in Bengal. However, this could not be maintained in the just concluded Assembly elections and BJP could only secure 38.1% as against 47.9% of the TMC. A number of reasons attributed to the downward trend, but in order to enhance our vote bank in the future and to obtain the critical vote share of 6% we need to focus on the Bengali voters which is approximately 45% and also the 30% Muslim voters to become a serious contender in West Bengal.
A favourable environment for BJP in West Bengal existed, but we lost the opportunity due to certain strategic errors. I suggest BJP practises an inclusive ideology to embrace all communities and different strata of society. TMC’s appeasement politics cannot be countered by polarisation.
BJP must penetrate into the intellectual and middle class Bengali voters’ segment to achieve the desired result. BJP could not win any of the Assembly seats in and around Kolkata, as we failed to feel the pulse of the people and gauge their attitude.
In Bengal people do not appreciate divisive vote bank politics. Shri Narendra Modi ji’s motto: ‘Sabke Saath, Saabke Vikas & Saabke Saath Saabke Vishwas’, must be implemented in letter and spirit in Bengal to establish BJP as an inclusive party, which would work for the welfare of all communities.
The State BJP needs a dignified, cultured and honest leader who would have universal acceptance among the Bengali and other Communities. Such a leader confidently would motivate the existing leaders and karyakartas throughout the State, to increase the booth level organisation for effective connectivity with the critical voters.
The present State leaders have been trying their best, but perhaps due to certain limitations they have failed to win/touch the minds of the majority Bengali vote bank.
It is to be noted that every Bengali has an emotional attachment and connect with national icons. In order to capture the Bengali majority vote, BJP must project a leader who would be in a position to invoke the inclusive ideology of national icons like Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. This is essential to increase our vote percentage to reach a comfortable position to compete with the TMC .
A policy document specific to Bengal must be prepared stating the development work that BJP would like to initiate. Education, Health and Industry must be priority sectors for development in West Bengal.
At present BJP West Bengal is at a regression mode, we are losing ground very fast.
The party needs to face reality and connect with the people not necessarily for vested interest, but in the interest of the people of Bengal and for the overall development of Bengal.
(Chandra Kumar Bose is the son of Amiya Nath Bose, grandson of Sarat Chandra Bose & grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.)