Bhabanipur Bypoll: Disappointment for West Bengal BJP, Opportunity For Central Leadership

The West Bengal BJP unit is disappointed with the Election Commission’s decision to hold a bypoll in Bhabanipur assembly constituency, but the party’s central leadership is looking at it as an opportunity for the BJP to revive its political activity in the state.

Before the bypoll was declared, the state BJP had written to the party high command to request the EC not to go ahead with the election. But the outcome was disappointing. West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “The EC has made a decision to help a person (chief minister Mamata Banerjee), who lost before, to win this time. This is not right.”

Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, who defeated Banerjee in Nandigram during the assembly election, too, has said “the logic behind the EC decision is incorrect”. “How can this logic come in, that Mamata Banerjee wants to contest?” he asked.

Banerjee had urged the EC to announce the bypoll as the Covid-19 situation in West Bengal was under control. She needs to get elected to the assembly before November 5 in order to remain the chief minister.

Shamik Bhattacharjya, BJP spokesperson, has also called the EC decision “ridiculous”.

But all seems to be at ease in the BJP headquarters. Party sources said the declaration of the bypoll in Bhabanipur constituency was being seen from a different perspective in Delhi. The central leadership felt that with declaration of the election, the BJP will get an opportunity to revive its political activity in West Bengal, sources added.

The sources further said till now, due to Covid, there was no political activity, and this had become a factor in the decreasing motivation of workers at the grassroots.

Party insiders said though the BJP was aware that the Trinamool Congress had the edge in Bhabanipur, it was still an opportunity where central leaders like JP Nadda and other big names could campaign.

They added that had the EC not declared the bypoll, then the TMC and entire opposition would have come up with a theory that Banerjee was a victim and the EC was at the beck and call of the BJP.

It is difficult, however, to say whether the state BJP understands the outlook of the central leadership.

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