BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh tells Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay what led to his party’s spectacular success in West Bengal and the road ahead for the BJP
What do you think were the reasons behind the BJP’s success?
There was a vacuum in the Opposition created by the Marxists’ gradual decline in popularity among the people, as shown by recent trends. Moreover, people could see the bluff in (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee’s paribartan rhetorics. From Saradha scam to corruption in teachers’ recruitment to atrocities on women, the Trinamool government’s track record was abysmal and proved to be nothing but the other side of the CPM (which it had defeated to come into power). We understood that it (TMC), too, was gradually losing people’s support and that we would have to go all out against them.
I sat down with my party colleagues to devise an elaborate strategy. We worked on the contents of our attacks and I showed it to Modiji who gave it his approval. He then brought them up in his rallies (in the state). These issues ranged from Saradha scam to Mamata’s painting (one of which was reportedly sold for Rs 1.80 crore) and infiltration. You have seen how the ruling party got into disarray in the face of our attacks. When you lose (track of) logic, you take to emotion and abuses and that is what Mamatadidi did. She even threatened to have Modiji arrested which is unfortunate. And then, at booth level, we roped in youths to work for us. We launched campaign on social media, we went door to door. Our leaders and cadre worked very hard.
Do you think you could have done better had you been more sagacious in choosing your candidates?
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Honestly speaking, results could have been better but we think we fielded the best of people. I am telling you, if there had been no rigging, we would have bagged at least two more seats – Alipurduar (north Bengal) and Sreerampore. But we are learning from the mistakes.
How did other members of the Sangh Parivar such as RSS help in your win?
I can tell you the entire Sangh Parivar chipped in to contribute to the success
How are you planning to consolidate on your electoral success?
I am coming to Kolkata in the first week of June and will have a series of meetings with our karyakartas. First we have got the civic elections for the 14 municipalities scheduled this year. Then we have elections for Kolkata Municipal Corporation next year, and in 2016 we have Assembly elections. We will prepare from booth level, we will use all mediums – from social media to door-to-door campaign. Mamatadidi now knows that the BJP will be the main competitor to her party moving forwards.