India

Bengal Assembly Polls: BJP Holds Meetings On CM Candidates Ahead Of Results

By
Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata: Sunday will be result-day for the political parties who worked hard amidst the pandemic and heat to score over their opposition in the run-up to the Assembly elections in West Bengal.

Both the main political opponents in Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have claimed victory while the elections were still on. Most of the exit polls on Thursday evening predicted a third term for the ruling Trinamool Congress, while a few of them predicted the saffron party securing more seats than the TMC. The exit poll, though, busted the claim of either party securing the magical 200-seat mark in the 294-seat Assembly.

The BJP camp was quite confident on Saturday and preparations at the party headquarters in Hastings, Kolkata also indicated that. A pandal was being erected outside the main building for the media and public in anticipation of large turnout.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said he didn’t believe in exit polls but banks on ‘exact polls’ that will be in favour of the BJP on Sunday.

One of the West Bengal BJP observers, Kailash Vijayvargiya was optimistic of his party’s good show. The party, which had just three seats in the 2016 elections, has been campaigning with the slogan “ab ki bar 200 par” (it will be 200 plus seats this time).

Vijayvargiya hoped the party would get 165-185 seats. If the figures are to be believed, it would be a huge ‘leap of faith’ for the saffron party, which talked of development for the state and making Bengal a Shonar Bangla (golden Bengal).

Present at the party HQ were also three state observers Shiv Prakash, Arvind Menon and Amit Malviya. It is learnt that discussions have been going on since Friday on the probable candidates for chief minister post and cabinet berths.

Party sources said Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda had a meeting on Friday at their party headquarters in New Delhi where they discussed probable CM and ministers.

“The central BJP has divided the candidates in A, B and C categories. Those, sure to win, are placed in ‘A’ category. Those who are not so sure of win are in ‘B’ category and those who will lose are in ‘C’ category. The central BJP ministers are confident of winning from North Bengal and a few of South Bengal. The Matua community candidates are also supposed to win,” said party sources.

It has been no secret that state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh has been a front-runner for the chief minister’s post. The speculations were fuelled further after Shah heaped praises on Ghosh at a public meeting earlier last month.

Meanwhile, the TMC party office wore usual look on Saturday as most of the candidates were busy overseeing COVID management in the state.

When asked about the BJP claims, Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “If they have ordered machines from private limited company, then we cannot talk of that. What we are saying is that we will get 200-plus seats.”

On the saffron camp discussing government formation, Ghosh said, “They are planning on an improbable situation. They are unable to go to people because of their failure on COVID management and to camouflage that, they might have said we discussed on government formation in Bengal.”

Ashok Chatterjee

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