Suvendu Adhikari pushes for CAA pill to recharge BJP
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has reportedly urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah to expedite the process of implementing the CAA in Bengal.
Several BJP insiders this reporter spoke to said stress on implementing the CAA was viewed by state unit leaders as the most potent way to revive the party’s fortunes in Bengal.
“Our leaders, including Suvenduda, believe dividing the electorate on religious lines is the only way to expand the BJP in Bengal. To do so, there can be no better weapon than to bring the CAA back in the political discourse,” a state BJP office bearer said. “This is why he lobbied with the Union government for its immediate implementation.” In Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday, Suvendu called on Modi, Shah and BJP’s national chief J.P. Nadda. He also met two BJP MPs from Bengal, Saumitra Khan and Arjun Singh, on Wednesday on how to start a fresh political movement in the state around the CAA.
At a time several elected BJP MLAs are in touch with Trinamul and scores of foot soldiers have become idle or switched over to the Trinamul, the CAA can recharge the saffron party in Bengal, many believe.
Though the BJP got 77 seats in the Bengal polls, it fared well in the Assembly segments inhabited by social groups that support the CAA. It won 30 of the 54 Assemblies in north Bengal and 12 of the 14 Assemblies under Bongaon and Ranaghat Lok Sabha seats.
While most seats that the BJP won in north Bengal are dominated by the Rajbanshis, the Matuas hold sway in the Bongaon and Ranaghat Lok Sabha areas. Both Scheduled Caste communities, they vocally support the CAA.
On the other hand, Trinamul performed exceptionally well in Muslim-dominated districts of Malda and Murshidabad, earlier traditional Congress bastions. Leaders in the Trinamul have often pointed out that results in these areas went their way as the Muslims believed that only Mamata Banerjee could stop the implementation of the CAA.
“Poll data bear proof that the electorate can be divided over the CAA. If we wish to increase our vote share to an extent where we can finally wrest power in the state we have to tread the CAA path ,” a state leader said.
The BJP is hoping talks of rolling out CAA will trigger a chain of reactions such as Mamata hitting the streets and the Muslim community protesting against the Act.
“The moment these two things happen, polarisation will start.... That's the ideal situation for us,” said a source.
The Union home ministry is yet to frame the rules to the implement the CAA. But last month it issued a gazette notification granting powers under existing rules to authorities in 13 districts of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab to accept, verify and approve citizenship applications from members of minority communities hailing from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The parliament had given the home ministry an extension till July 9 to frame rules for the law. However, sources said Bengal BJP wants the Centre to implement CAA in Bengal fast.