Explained: Why Union home minister Amit Shah picked Bolpur to hold roadshow on December 20
Kolkata, Dec 19: While the question remained for many about why Union home minister Amit Shah picked Bolpur to hold a mega roadshow on December 20, the answer lies in the BJP's preparations for the high-stakes 2021 West Bengal assembly polls. It can be seen that the BJP failed to make a mark in the two seats of Bolpur and Birbhum in last year's Lok Sabha elections.
It can be seen that there are two Lok Sabha seats (Bolpur and Birbhum) and 11 assembly seats (Dubrajpur, Seuri, Bolpur, Sainthia, Rampurhat, Muraria, Hansan, Mayureswar, Labpur, Nalhati and Nanur) in Birbhum district.
Of the 11, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won nine seats, Nanur was secured by the CPI (M) and the Congress won the Hansan seat in the 2016 assembly polls.
However, though the BJP did not win either the Bolpur or Birbhum seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, out of the 11 assembly segments in the region, the BJP was leading in five.
In the Birbhum assembly seant, the BJP was ahead of the TMC in Dubrajpur, Seuri, Sainthia, Rampurhat and Mayureswar. While in Dubrajpur the BJP took a lead with nearly 18,000 votes, in the rest of the seats it was ahead by about 15,000, 300, 10,000 and 3,000 votes in the 2019 parliamentary polls.
However, one should not forget that there are six municipal boards in Birbhum district-Dubrajpur, Seuri, Sainthia, Rampurhat, Bolpur and Nalhati-and in all of these the BJP was leading in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.
There were 19 municipal wards where the party was leading during the general elections. The list includes ward number 15 of TMC Birbhum president Anubrata Mondal. This ward has six booths and the BJP was leading in all of them.
The BJP is concerned about nearly 250 booths in Nalhati, Hansan and Muraria out of the 3,021 booths in Birbhum district. In the remaining booths, its workers are ready for a battle.
According to the statistics of the Election Commission (EC), the BJP lost to the TMC in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Birbhum (Trinamool's Satabdi Roy defeated BJP's Dudh Kumar Mondal by 88,917 votes) and Bolpur (TMC's Asit Kumar Mal defeated BJP's Ram Prasad Das by 1,06,403 votes). However, the vote percentage of the saffron party increased significantly to 20.52 per cent in the Birbhum Lok Sabha seat. Similarly, in the Bolpur seat its vote percentage increased to 25.44 per cent.
Earlier, in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the TMC's vote share in Birbhum decreased by 11.72 per cent. BJP's Joy Banerjee was in the third position, but despite that the party's vote share increased remarkably to 13.85 per cent.
With this, Shah has strategically decided to pick Bolpur as his next destination to sound the poll bugle with his roadshow and lunch with a Baul singer on December 20.
Also, Bolpur instantly connects with the hearts of millions of Bengalis due to Shantiniketan, a neighbourhood of Bolpur city, which was established by Rabindranath Tagore's father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. Later, Rabindranath Tagore founded the Visva-Bharati University.