Political parties and strategists seem to be employing the Australian cricket tactics of ‘mental disintegration of their opponents’ even as the run-up to the West Bengal Assembly elections, expected to be held in April/May 2021, begins.
First, it was Union Home Minister Amit Shah who claimed that the winds in Bengal are blowing in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party and his party will win over 200 of the 294 Assembly seats in the Bengal elections.
Stung by this, Prashant Kishor, who has been hired by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress to steer the party’s election strategy, on Monday reparteed with a tweet, predicting that the BJP will not even cross double digits and if it did better than he has predicted, he would ‘leave this space’.
Be that as it may, Kishor said: "For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in #WestBengal PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space!" he said in a tweet.
It isn’t clear whether Kishor means that the BJP will not cross 99 seats in the Assembly elections or will not cross 9 seats. Neither is it clear what he means by ‘leaving this space’: whether he would leave Twitter or if would stop being an election strategist.
Earlier, welcoming former TMC heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, 9 MLAs from different parties and 1 TMC MP into the BJP fold on Satruday, Amit Shah predicted that Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremeo Mamata Banerjee will be left ‘all alone’ by the time West Bengal goes to polls.
Stating that the BJP will form the next government in the Bengal with more than 200 seats.
He blasted Mamata for unabated political violence in the Bengal and asked for a halt to ‘political killngs’. He also alleged that the TMC government was steeped in corruption and said that Mamata was blocking all central government welfare schemes in the state meant for the poor and for the farmers.
BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya instantly took a dig at Kishor, saying that after the BJP forms the government in Bengal, India will have to lose one of its political strategists.
Prashant Kishor, who has been silent on the issue for quite while, however seemed sufficiently piqued to come up with a rejoinder to Shah’s assertion.
However, his tweet -- which many Twitterati found vague -- surely generated a lot of interest.
Bengal Legislative Assembly has 294 seats and majority mark is 148. In the 2016 elections, TMC had won a massive 211 seats, Congress 44, CPM 26, and the BJP had won 3 seats.
Mamata is faced with a major problem with several TMC leaders and workers jumping the ship to join the BJP.
Some leaders are upset with Mamata and the rising clout of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who was instrumental in the TMC hiring the services of Prashant Kishor and his strategy firm IPAC to drive the TMC’s re-election campaign.
Others see a wave in favour of the BJP and believe it would be political suicide to remain with the TMC.
“This time people want a change to stop infiltration from Bangladesh, to put an end to the political violence in Bengal, to stop the practice of extortion, and to end the dadagiri of the bhatija,” Shah had said on Sunday, referring to the Chief Minister’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee.