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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Bengal BJP to focus on strengthening in 150 Assembly seats where it got about 40 per cent of vote share

Despite recent debacle in Lok Sabha polls where the party secured only 12 seats, six fewer than in 2019 general elections, BJP is optimistic

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 23.06.24, 09:50 AM
BJP supporters in Ranaghat wear Modi masks during the Lok Sabha poll campaign in May

BJP supporters in Ranaghat wear Modi masks during the Lok Sabha poll campaign in May File picture

The Bengal BJP will focus on strengthening the party in around 150 Assembly seats of the state where it got about 40 per cent of the vote share, before the 2026 Assembly polls, party insiders said.

Despite the recent debacle in the Lok Sabha polls where the party secured only 12 seats, six fewer than in the 2019 general elections, the BJP is optimistic.

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"Despite our disappointing performance in this Lok Sabha election, the party high command considers Bengal 'Mission Possible' for us in the 2026 Assembly polls. We got around 40 per cent of votes in at least 150 Assembly seats, and they will be our primary focus," said a senior BJP leader in Calcutta.

"We are also making significant efforts to strengthen the party organisation in approximately 60 seats where the party received over 35 per cent of vote share," he added.

The BJP's plan to focus on these Assembly segments is significant as the majority mark in the Bengal Assembly is 148. In 2021, the BJP secured only 77 out of 294 constituencies.

In the recent Lok Sabha polls, the BJP's vote share was 38.73 per cent, while the Trinamool Congress, which won 29 out of 42 seats, had a vote share of 45.76 per cent. The BJP's vote share was 40.17 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 38.1 per cent in the 2021 Bengal Assembly election.

Following the outcome of this Lok Sabha election, the Bengal BJP unit faced questions from both outside and inside the party regarding its performance and election management, despite top leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah publicly claiming that the party's performance would be "unimaginable" in Bengal.

"We lost in terms of the number of seats, but our vote share was not significantly affected. So, top BJP leaders in Delhi do not consider Bengal a lost cause," said a BJP source.

The Bengal BJP has decided to conduct an unprecedented six-layer review of its performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls before fully preparing for the 2026 Assembly elections, which the leaders believe is a 'Mission Possible.'

A BJP leader said that after the 2021 Assembly election debacle, the party could not conduct such a comprehensive review due to the "need to address post-poll violence".

"The six-layer review will start on Monday with a meeting with the state office bearers, the first organisational layer. Then we will conduct meetings with the other five layers. Feedback from all these meetings will be presented to the state core committee, which will outline the party's strategy for the 2026 Assembly elections," said a senior BJP leader in Calcutta. The other five layers are the state election management committee, district presidents and district-in-charge, Lok Sabha candidates, the core committee of each of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies, and finally the mandal committee presidents.

A BJP source mentioned that this is the first time the party will meet with around 1,300 Mandal presidents and all candidates, including losers.

"We want honest feedback," he said.

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