A day after the Trinamool Congress won the polls in West Bengal, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya said he was “personally satisfied” with the party’s tally that had gone up from 3 to 76. He accused the TMC of wreaking violence on BJP workers in several parts of the State. “There is anarchy and our people are being attacked and five of them were killed. Some were even chased out of polling centres during the counting,” he told The Hindu.
Mr. Vijaywargiya, party in charge of West Bengal, attributed many reasons for its loss in the State. He asserted that the most important one seemed to be “the surrender of the Congress and the Communist Party of India”, especially after the letter by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar just before the polls announcing the support of many Opposition parties to the Trinamool Congress.
“The heart went out of the Congress and the CPI(M) campaigns after that, with even Rahul Gandhi keeping away, albeit stating that it was due to the COVID-19 second wave. This led to a direct transfer of at least 9% vote from these parties to the TMC,” he said, a reference to a huge minority consolidation behind the TMC, which swept in the Congress and Left strongholds as well.
He admitted that Ms. Banerjee got much sympathy and support from women but said this was more because of her campaign on a wheelchair than speeches by Prime Minister Modi. “She did get sympathy from women for campaigning from a wheelchair which, by the way, she abandoned yesterday evening after winning the polls,” he said.
Mr. Vijaywargiya insisted that in “at least 65 seats” there was a close contest between BJP candidates and the TMC, when asked on whether an overdependence on TMC turncoats queered the pitch for the BJP. Many TMC turncoats, even former ministers, in the Mamata Banerjee government lost this time.
“I am personally satisfied by the performance of the party. With the Congress and Left not having a single MLA, the BJP, with 76 MLAs, will be the official party of Opposition in the House and we will occupy a big space of Oppositional politics in the State. We promise to be a constructive Opposition. But the TMC should restrain its cadre from killing and wounding our people. Even the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) office in Kolkata has been vandalised, let alone some of our offices in the interiors,” he said.
The BJP, he stated, would do a detailed “sameeksha” (review) of the reasons for the loss. But now, the immediate issue was the security of the party cadre, he added.