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Post Delhi defeat, BJP divided on Bengal strategy


Kolkata, Feb 13: After the BJP's defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections, poll managers of its West Bengal unit are divided whether to push its aggressive strategy on the CAA-NRC or mellow it down and lace it with alternative policies of governance.

The BJP that recently suffered a defeat at the hands of the AAP, which won the polls for the third consecutive time on the plank of good governance, is in two minds about its strategy for 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal.

Post Delhi defeat, BJP divided on Bengal strategy

In West Bengal, the BJP had won 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 parliamentary polls, while it had swept all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

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"But within a few months, we see that the results are completely opposite in Lok Sabha polls and Assembly polls in Delhi. So we cannot take it for granted that just because we won 18 seats in Bengal, we will also win the Assembly polls."

"So we need to change our strategy for state elections. It is not necessary that what works for national elections will also work for state polls. Our campaign should not only highlight implementation of CAA and need for NRC. It should also lay similar stress on alternative and better policies of governance," a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

Since last year, the demand for NRC to weed out infiltrators and the new citizenship law have emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with the TMC opposing them tooth and nail, and the BJP pressing for their implementation.

Another section of the state BJP, considered close to its president Dilip Ghosh, is of the opinion that there is no need for a change in the party's strategy in West Bengal, as aggressive politics has yielded positive results for the party.

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"If you want to counter a party like the TMC, you have to keep up the tempo and your aggressive strategy. It has helped us. Our campaign on the issues of the new Citizenship bill and the proposed NRC had yielded good results in Lok Sabha polls.

"If we change our strategy, it will be considered that we are retreating. This would send a wrong message to our party cadres. Obviously we will have an alternative set of governance policies but that doesn't mean diluting our campaign over CAA-NRC," the BJP leader said.

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