by Our special correspondent
With 2021 approaching you will finds state in grip of politically turbulent year.While BJP will take some more political programmes same number of counter jibes will come from Trinamul. In the meddle we have to see if interest of common people will be preserved.

In any event, the BJP’s performance in West Bengal was nothing short of spectacular. Most political pundits who had expected the party to gain in votes but fail to convert these into seats were taken by surprise, as was the chief minister who entered the 2019 election expecting a walkover on her home turf.

The post-election convulsions in the Trinamul Congress are, to a very large extent, the consequence of an outcome that showed up the ruling party as very vulnerable. Although the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi played a big role in securing an additional 16 seats for the BJP, it is now being realized that the outcome was as much a verdict on the growing popular dissatisfaction with the state government, particularly among Hindus.

As the state reels from a bout of post-poll political violence, the focus has shifted to the assembly election of 2021. Will the BJP be able to consolidate its gains, surge the extra mile and unseat Mamata Banerjee, or will the dynamics of an assembly election benefit the regional player?

It is important to note that the rise of the BJP in West Bengal has followed a different trajectory than in other parts of India. Whereas in most other states where the BJP is now an established player political success had invariably been preceded by sustained groundwork by either the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or organizations linked to it, in West Bengal, however, the RSS presence has been extremely patchy and mainly confined to the border districts. More important, the RSS wasn’t able to translate even this limited presence into social influence.
Yet, the importance of this revulsion should be placed in a context. The disaggregated analysis of the 2019 election in West Bengal indicates that the vote which catapulted the BJP’s success came principally from adivasis, backward castes and Dalits — communities that are, in turn, culturally detached from the archetypal Bengali bhadralok babu.

A perusal of the names of BJP workers killed in the recent political clashes — some for merely chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ — would indicate that the culture war is playing out differently in the districts and not necessarily along the lines the chief minister of West Bengal would prefer.

Finally, the BJP in West Bengal has been hamstrung by a leadership problem. The party has never suffered from a lack of enthusiasts. Its problem has been the lack of social reach of individuals who view the party more like a cosy club rather than a mass organization. It was often said in jest that BJP leaders valued securing the party nomination for elections much more than actually winning.

In today’s context, this has meant that a rapidly expanding party has swung sharply between opening its doors to everyone — including individuals who can be best described as dodgy — and operating like a sect where membership is reserved for a select few.

The issue of how best to expand and how to integrate newcomers in a mass party is no doubt difficult to handle. As of now, with electoral success coming its way, the BJP seems to be getting a little traumatized by the sheer rapidity of its popularity surge.

This worked in its favour during the Lok Sabha election where it won seats and polled huge numbers of votes despite being able to find agents in only 30 per cent of the booths. However, assembly elections are not so impersonal and local considerations are paramount. As of now, the party isn’t fully prepared to meet the challenge.

In the coming days, it will have to either develop leaders with local roots or import them from other parties, but without being seen as a carbon copy of a discredited political culture built on corruption and high-handedness.


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