New Delhi: The battle lines seem to have been drawn deep in West Bengal, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee roping in poll strategist Prashant Kishor, preferably with an eye on the 2021 state Assembly election and to keep the BJP at bay.

Prashant Kishor is one of the most sought after election strategist, who recently added another success story to his name after helping Jaganmohan Reddy win the Andhra Pradesh Assembly election last month.

Reports suggest that Mamata and Kishor held a two-hour meeting behind closed doors and are set to work in tandem from July.

Currently, JD-U Vice President, Prashant Kishor formulated the election strategy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 elections. He subsequently ran successful campaigns for JD-U in 2015 Bihar elections and for Congress in 2017 Punjab polls.

With the Bharatiya Janata Party securing as many as 18 seats out of 42 seats, improving its tally of 2014 of two seats through an emphatic jump and edging the ruling Trinamool to a close 22 seats- Mamata Banerjee is now laying the groundwork for the 2021 Assembly election.

‘WILL NOT ALLOW BENGAL TO BECOME GUJARAT’

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently spewed anger and lashed out at people chanting “Jai Sree Ram” around her convoy in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas. She said she will never allow Bengal to become Gujarat.

Addressing a protest demonstration in Naihati, Banerjee also viciously attacked the BJP saying she hates them for practising communal and divisive politics. She said she was confident the saffron party will not get a single seat in Bengal in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Meanwhile, assuring the Muslim community that they have nothing to fear, the CM on Wednesday said with its help she would fight “every battle” to save the country.

Banerjee acknowledged that the community has helped her uphold secularism, national unity, the ethos of the country and the state as also “every social work”. “If you are with us, then see, how we fight every battle. We will fight. There is nothing to be afraid,” she said at an Eid-ul-Fitr congregation.

STARTLING STATISTICS

However, in startling statistics, of the seats won by the BJP, eight are border constituencies – a part of which passes through the India-Bangladesh border – with substantial Muslim population.

The BJP virtually swept North Bengal, claiming seven of the eight seats from the region. Except for Alipurduar, all other six seats — Raiganj, Coochbehar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Balurghat and Malda North – are border constituencies with good concentration of Muslims.

In Raiganj, BJP candidate and now central Minister Debasree Chaudhuri defeated Kanaia Lal Agarwal of Trinamool Congress by over 60,000 votes. Two heavyweights, including CPI-M’s sitting MP Mohammad Salim, lost their security deposits.

This comes in wake of Mamata Banerjee been long cornered for her ‘appeasement politics’ and catering to whims of minorities or more specifically Muslims.

 

With IANS inputs