New Delhi: One of the key battles for democracy in the country will be fought in West Bengal, poll strategist Prashant Kishor said on Saturday, referring to the assembly elections starting March 27. He also shared the Trinamool Congress’s main slogan – “Bengal only wants its own daughter” – on Twitter. Kishor’s company, I-PAC, is assisting the ruling party in formulating a strategy to stop the BJP – which has made deep inroads in the state with its stellar general election performance – in its tracks.
“One of the key battles FOR DEMOCRACY in India will be fought in West Bengal, and the people of Bengal are ready with their MESSAGE and determined to show the RIGHT CARD – #BanglaNijerMeyekeiChay (Bengal Only Wants its Own Daughter) PS: On 2nd May, hold me to my last tweet,” he wrote.
West Bengal elections will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29, the Election Commission announced on Friday, making it the longest ever polls in the state. The results will be declared on May 2.The eight days of voting are March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. Last time, in 2016, the state’s 6.5 crore voters voted over seven days between April and May.
The Election Commission indicated that the decision was linked to the fears of political violence in the state during polls.
Mamata Banerjee, however, questioned the poll body over the dates. “Bihar has 240 seats and had elections in three phases. Tamil Nadu has 234 seats and will have election in one day. Why eight phases here? Who is benefitting…This is as per BJP requisition,” she said on Friday.
The BJP – which won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state whose politics had revolved around the Trinamool-Left rivalry – is hoping to form its maiden government. The party’s election campaign is centred around the law-and-order situation, the dynasty politics allegation and the alleged lack of development under Banerjee – charges denied by the Trinamool.
The central government – led by the BJP – has also announced several infrastructure projects lately to stress on its double-engine government (BJP governments at the centre and in Bengal) poll pitch.
The Trinamool has announced several schemes of its own to counter the BJP. The party has also announced its intentions to provide free vaccines against the coronavirus, ahead of the elections.
In response to the BJP calling Trinamool leaders “tolabaaz” or “extortionist”, Banerjee earlier this week called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “the biggest dangabaaz in the country.”