After Bihar, it’s mission Bengal, Assam for BJP

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6

As polling for the third and the final phase of the Bihar Assembly election to 78 seats in 15 districts takes place tomorrow, the BJP machinery is gearing up for its next mission — elections in Assam, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.

While in West Bengal today, Home Minister Amit Shah declared a sweeping victory in the upcoming elections, in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma said “development and protection from infiltrators” would be the poll plank.

In Kerala, where the BJP appears to be in much disarray, it has to bring the “house in order” for the crucial elections, in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the state unit has rolled out ‘Vetrivel Yatra’ despite Covid restrictions to consolidate Hindu vote base. According to reports, BJP Tamil Nadu unit president L Murugan and some party workers were arrested near Lord Murugan Temple at Tiruttani while taking out the yatra “aimed at exposing those acting against the Tamil culture”.

Rivals/detractors said it was meant to “flare communal tension”. The AIADMK government had not given permission for the yatra citing Covid-19.

With such efforts, the saffron party, which has not been able to make inroads into the southern state (its vote share dropping from 5.56 per cent in 2014 to 3,66 in 2019) is aiming to consolidate Hindu votes.

Meanwhile in Assam, the ruling BJP said it would campaign the next elections on two key issues — development and protection of the “civilisation of Assam” from the “civilisation of infiltrators from Bangladesh”.

In Kerala, threats of defection of senior leaders and resignation have rocked the BJP’s state unit, where observers said “such open dissent was never witnessed before”. Several senior leaders like Sobha Surendran are unhappy with state president K Surendran and Union Minister V Muraleedharan.

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