BJP Sets Bengal As Target 2021, Trinamool Congress Says High Hopes

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"Agli bar BJP sarkar in Bengal" said Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (Press Trust of India photo)


Kolkata:  After its surprise result in the Assembly by-poll in West Bengal on Thursday, where it came second, top BJP leaders flew into to Kolkata on Friday with one war cry: agli baar BJP sarkar in Pashchimi Bangal. Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has laughed it off. A leader said "even mad men would laugh at such a claim". But privately, Kanthi South result has set alarm bells ringing for the Trinamool, Left and the Congress.

At Kanthi South, the Trinamool won with 53 per cent votes, the BJP came second with 31 and the Left and Congress lost their deposits. No wonder Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seemed to have a spring in his step as he came to brainstorm with BJP workers in Kolkata on Friday on Target 2021: the next Assembly polls in Bengal.   

"Agli bar BJP sarkar," he said in answer to questions on the Kanthi results. "Strategies are not meant to be revealed. But the South Kanthi results show which way the wind is blowing," he said.

Across the Hooghly river, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti crisscrossed Howrah district with the same message. "In 2001, I had said Mamata will form government someday. I had also said after that it will be our turn because the people of Bengal won't have an alternative. Once the alternative of Mamata Banerjee is over, we will be the only choice and that day is here," she said.

The Trinamool says the BJP's claims and hopes are baseless. "Right now they have 2-3 seats. On what basis are they talking of winning 200 seats next elections? How can such senior leaders speak like this? Even mad people will laugh at them," said Trinamool minister and secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

CPM insists on a BJP-TMC deal. "They have an understanding. Look at what's happening to the Narada Saradha probe. Again it has gone quiet," said Surya Kanta Mishra of the CPM.

Privately, however, there are huge worries all around. Last year BJP got nine per cent votes in Kanthi South. This time, the Left lost 24 per cent votes, Trinamool two and all apparently went to the BJP's kitty.

On April 25, BJP president Amit Shah is expected in Siliguri up north to lend firepower to BJP's Target 2021.  


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