The BJP's top leadership has been launching fierce attacks on Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee of late. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday targeted the TMC supremo on the Saradha and Narada issues while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in another rally that nobody is safe under the TMC rule in West Bengal. BJP president Amit Shah also targeted Mamata Banerjee at other times on similar lines.
But no matter what the top BJP leaders say, the saffron party will certainly not hope for the TMC's loss in the ongoing election. It is making all the noise aiming to protect its 17 per cent vote share in Bengal which it had won in the 2014 general elections. For that, a strong anti-Mamata stand is required for public consumption, especially in the urban areas of Bengal where the BJP can expect to cash in on the corruption issues. [EC not okay with chief secy's reply on showcause to Mamata]
But in reality, the BJP has other plans to meet and a defeat of Mamata Banerjee doesn't fit its scheme of things.
Modi's BJP will never want Congress winning a state poll since it is working on Congress-Mukt Bharat
First, the BJP will never want the Congress to win a state since Congress-Mukt Bharat is the main plank of Modi's BJP. Hence, a defeat of Banerjee to the alliance between the Congress and Left---both political and ideological enemies to the saffron camp---is strategically not desirable for the BJP.
It is true that Modi said on Sunday that a TMC-Congress-Left alliance was working in the Rajya Sabha to protect Mamata's leaders accused in the Narada sting operation and the Bjp couldn't do anything since it doesn't have the numbers in the Upper House, but that is a remark meant more for, as we said, public consumption. [Amit Shah's press talks in Kolkata hinted at BJP's tilt towards Trinamool]
The BJP, which is desperately looking to expand its base in the East and South, will logically want the Congress to lose and that makes Mamata the obvious choice as a winner.
Mamata has Muslim votes with her; a tie-up with her will always help the saffron camp show its 'liberal' side
Secondly, the Muslim vote-bank in Bengal, which has a substantial chunk of minority voters, is with Mamata Banerjee and that assures the BJP. For the TMC is a party which the BJP can aspire to get as an ally (they were also formal allies once) and not the Congress and Left and the TMC's Muslim votes make the saffron party assured. As long as the possibility of Mamata Banerjee joining the BJP and the Muslim votes siding with the TMC remain, the former will be a natural choice for the BJP as a friend.
Though for Mamata Banerjee, the equation is a complete opposite.
Modi may need Mamata after 2019 Lok Sabha election
Thirdly, the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Modi knows well that the next general election will not be as smooth as the previous one as anti-incumbency will pose a challenge. In that case, the NDA might need the support of the regional parties to set up a government and the TMC is one of the biggest regional outfits in Indian politics at the moment. [Did Sushma Swaraj actually back Mamata by comparing her with Indira Gandhi of 1977?]
The BJP has a much bigger stake in the 2019 Lok Sabha election than the current Assembly election in Bengal and hence will never want to burn its bridges to return to power. Let Mamata Banerjee win Bengal, therefore. [Is the BJP at all interested in Bengal polls?]
Rajya Sabha numbers always a worry for BJP; it needs TMC's support
Finally but not the least, the BJP will hope to get the TMC's backing in the Upper House to give wings to Modi's dreams of economic reforms. It is not without a reason that the NDA government showed little urgency in sending the Narada issue to the ethics committee. Modi's putting the onus on the Left and Congress was more of a desperate effort to distance the BJP from an issue which is snowballing with each passing day but the saffron party is not eager to pursue the case since it needs the numbers.