BJP president Amit Shah has said the saffron party will win as many as 22 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. What do Chandran Mitra, Sambit Patra and Mukul Roy think?
How will Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP perform in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal — home to 42 Lok Sabha seats — in next year’s general elections?
BJP president Amit Shah has said the saffron party will win as many as 22 seats. A recent poll suggests it could win 16. What does Chandan Mitra, a former BJP man who’s now with the Trinamool Congress (TMC), think?
“It is not really surprising that the BJP’s numbers have increased,” Mitra said today at the India Today Conclave East 2018 in Kolkata. He explained that this has happened “primarily because the Congress and the Left have both collapsed. So, the votes have to go somewhere.”
The BJP “is seen as an alternative for those who don’t want to go with the TMC”, Mitra said.
At the same time, he said the prediction of 16 Lok Sabha seats for the BJP was “an absurd figure”.
“I know the BJP president [Amit Shah] has been claiming that they’re going to win 22 out of the 42, whereas as of now, the Trinaool Congress holds 34 of the 42 seats. So I don’t see any possibility of the number of seats going up to the figures that have been suggested…I don’t think that there is any serious possibility of Mamata Banerjee’s popularity being dented, and [of] her seats coming down.”
‘WE KNOW HOW TO LIVE IN REALITY’
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra pointed to his party’s stunning performances in the Uttar Pradesh and Tripura state elections, and to the Modi wave in the 2014 general elections.
“What you feel is absurdity, is in ground [sic] a reality, because we know to live in reality,” Patra said.
Under Shah and Modi, he said, the BJP lives in the polling booth, not in television studios or debates. “That is where elections are won.”
Mukul Roy, a former TMC leader who’s now with the BJP, said he disagreed with the prediction of 16 seats for the saffron party. “We will get more than 24”.
This year, he said, the people of West Bengal are “fed up” with Mamata Banerjee. “I am quite sure [that] in this parliamentary election, Mamata will not be able to cross the halfway mark of…seats.”
Roy, Patra and Mitra took part in a panel discussion titled, ‘Left or Right – Which Way Will Bengal Sway?’. They were joined by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Shatarup Ghosh of the Democratic Youth Federation of India. The full video of their wide-ranging discussion with TV Today News Director Rahul Kanwal will be added to this story soon.
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