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In the midst of the growing controversy over the poster of the film Kali, the BJP has adopted a very aggressive attitude in West Bengal. Under the leadership of party leader Shubhendu Adhikari, the party has organized protests at various places in the state, so a meeting in Kolkata on Thursday has been chalked out to intensify this protest. The black poster controversy may soon lead to more massive protests in the state. In the assembly elections, in front of Mamta Banerjee, the BJP is feeling that it can get the support of the public on this dispute. In the name of Kali, the cultural identity of West Bengal, she can further unite the Hindu voters.
Can’t sit quietly on Hindu interests: BJP
West Bengal BJP leader Bhaskar Ghosh told Amar Ujala that Mother Kali is the soul of his state. They are visible in every form of art, literature, society and culture here. People from West Bengal to Assam worship his 108 forms in one form or the other and feel alive in his shadow. That is why BJP cannot remain calm on this issue of Hindus, which is ingrained in the soul of the people here. He said that Mahua Moitra has attacked the culture of West Bengal by insulting Maa Kali. It cannot be accepted at all.
The BJP leader told that the top leaders of the party are brainstorming on this. If Mahua Moitra and Trinamool Congress do not come forward and apologize to the people of the entire state on this matter, and Mahua is not booked under appropriate sections, then this protest will intensify which will be difficult for Mamata Banerjee to handle.
how many votes, how many seats
This attitude of BJP is being seen as a better opportunity for electoral gains. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got 17.02 percent votes in West Bengal. It got success in only two seats out of the total 42 seats. Whereas Mamata Banerjee’s party TMC got 34 seats with 39.05 per cent votes. In the 2016 state assembly elections, TMC won 211 seats with 44.91 per cent votes.
But after this, from the next general election, BJP made a tremendous dent in the stronghold of TMC and Left parties. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got success in 18 seats and its vote share has surprisingly crossed 40.7%. It was only marginally behind the Trinamool Congress’s 43.3 per cent votes. However, the BJP secured a higher vote share than the TMC’s 2014 vote share. TMC suffered a loss of 12 seats in this election as compared to the last election and could get only 22 seats.
Only so far behind Mamta
In the last assembly elections 2021, TMC was once again victorious. It got success in 215 seats. Mamata Banerjee’s party got 2.89 crore popular votes with 48.02 per cent. The BJP, buoyed by the last Lok Sabha election results, had to be content with only 77 seats, but got around 38 per cent votes and 2.29 crore popular votes in this lost election. That is, even in this very hot election, BJP was only 60 lakh votes behind TMC.
Secret of 60 lakh votes
Unlike the way Congress, Left parties and other smaller parties had unitedly laid down their arms to defeat the BJP in the last assembly elections, if West Bengal elections are triangular, then power can come in the hands of BJP. About one third of the voters in West Bengal are Muslims. It is believed that the entire vote has gone to Trinamool’s account only. If so, then out of the total 2.89 crore Trinamool Congress, only a very small part of the Hindu voters have gone with it.
At the same time, a large part of the BJP’s 2.29 crore voters has been from Hindu voters. According to the CSDS, in the 2019 elections, the BJP got 57 per cent Hindu voters, while in 2021 it got only around 50 per cent Hindu voters. If the BJP does not appear to be fighting for the Hindu electorate, this vote share could further drop which could undermine its 2024 prospects.
That is, to gain power in West Bengal, or its strong performance in 2024, it has to garner some of these six million voters while retaining only its voters. In order not to lose its voters, the BJP must be seen fighting for Hindu voters, and that is what the BJP is trying to do with its opposition to the black film.