West Bengal: In a pivotal public meeting intended to chart the course for the upcoming 2024 general elections, Amit Shah, perceived as the BJP’s second-in-command, notably omitted any mention of the earlier set goal of securing 35 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. Shah urged Bengal’s people to support Modi in the upcoming elections without reiterating the specific seat target he had set seven months ago.
The event, held in central Calcutta, aimed to energize grassroots workers for the upcoming polls and was anticipated to be a significant launch pad for BJP’s electoral preparations. Despite Shah’s speech setting the tone for the party’s campaign agenda, the absence of a reiterated seat target left observers speculating on a potential shift in confidence.
In April, Shah had set the ambitious 35-seat target during a rally in Birbhum, implying that achieving this goal would preempt the need for state elections a year later. The party had secured an impressive 18 seats in the state in 2019, establishing itself as the principal Opposition.
While Shah’s scathing critique of Mamata Banerjee dominated his speech, emphasizing issues like appeasement politics and corruption, the lack of a reaffirmed seat target raised questions about the party’s strategy in Bengal. Shah emphasized the need to reinstate Modi in 2024 for a subsequent power shift in 2026 without elaborating on the Bengal-specific electoral calculus.
Despite BJP’s state president, Sukanta Majumdar, initially pledging to win 35 seats from Bengal, Shah’s speech cast a shadow on this commitment. Shah indicated that issues like the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and combating corruption would remain central to BJP’s campaign, hinting at a potential reevaluation of the party’s seat target in the state.
As the BJP navigates the complex political landscape of Bengal, Shah’s nuanced appeal and the absence of a reiterated seat target leave room for speculation on the party’s evolving strategy in the state for the 2024 elections.