Expecting reverses in the Hindi belt which accounted for about 160 out of 190 seats in 2014 the BJP is taking Bengal “very seriously” in terms of 2019 general elections. Consequently party president Amit Shah has decided to personally navigate the poll vessel in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, insiders say.
Accordingly Shah has planned 42 “war rooms” for all the 42 parliamentary constituencies led by seasoned “trans-Bengal” party organisers. The “war room” is also likely to be enriched by some management experts who would in tandem with the seasoned ‘imported’ organisers train the general workers to go about election campaigning, sources said.
Says BN Chakrabarty a sephologist: “The waning Left Front which got 15 percent votes in the Panchayat polls is not likely to improve its tally beyond 18 percent in the general elections. Add to it Congress’ committed 8-10 percent vote.
“The Trinamool Congress on the other hand is likely to get solid 28-30 percent Muslim votes. Besides it has its own 15 percent general votes including the standard 5-7 percent vote gained through rigging. Taking into account 2 percent vote for the Independents and smaller groups the BJP is unlikely to poll more than 30-32 percent votes which will not win them the elections.”
Suman Mukherjee a political analyst backs this view saying “even in its worst day the Left will poll 17 percent vote. If the BJP cannot pull it down to 7-8 percent it has no chance of winning Bengal.”
Though Shah has fixed a target of 22 seats for the Bengal BJP, Mukherjee is unwilling to bet even on its two sitting MPs Babul Supriyo and SS Ahluwalia. “The situation is such that they also might lose their seats,” he says adding, the BJP has to do something extraordinary to win this elections.
“In any case till Amit Shah is there you do not know what is going to happen because he does something more than politics to win votes. This time round Bengal will have to remain on high alert about some extra-political things like riots etc that can polarize votes in one go,” said another expert.
According to sources the war room strategists will report directly to Shah in Delhi and not the State leaders to ensure that there is no sabotage. “Plainly speaking the State BJP leaders will have no say in the electoral strategy. They will only give their advice to the party top brass.”
The war-room strategists: making a lethal blend of some expert RSS veterans and management experts will send their reports to Shah and Arvind Menon who would after monitoring and scrutinizing reports will make out the final strategy.
Apart from a dedicated “war-room” tactic the BJP is also planning to host a meeting of the minority leaders “in order to alleviate the false fear in their mind.” Such meetings is planned not to garner Muslim votes to BJP side but to drive a wedge in that so that some of them are retained by the Left and the Congress, insiders said.