Despite the drubbing it received at the hands of AAP in the Delhi polls, state BJP leaders on Tuesday claimed that though Arvind Kejriwal may have managed a convincing victory in the national capital, but it will be a different story in Bengal.
BJP national secretary and state in charge, Siddharth Nath Singh, said the results will not affect the party’s popularity when it came to the 2016 Assembly elections in Bengal. “One state doesn’t effect the other. Assembly elections are fought on local issues. If that had not been the case, then why would BJP — after winning in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana — be defeated in Delhi?” he added.
“It is a referendum in favour of Arvind Kejriwal similar to the national referendum that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had got. In 2016, it will be a test for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — whether people would support or reject her,” Singh said.
Slamming Mamata for attacking BJP following AAP’s victory, he said: “There is a saying in Hindi — ‘Begana shaadi mein Abdullah deewana’. It has been the same with Mamata Banerjee. She, along with her entire party know that they can’t win, so they have decided to be happy at someone else’s victory.”
On AAP’s announcement that it will contest the 2016 polls in Bengal, Singh said: “This is a democratic country and anyone can contest. It will spell trouble for Mamata and not us because she is the one who had supported AAP.”
State BJP president Rahul Sinha too echoed similar views. “The BJP, in spite of ruling in Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar, has failed to make a mark in Bengal so far. Likewise, AAP has performed in such a manner in Delhi because the nature and issues are different there from that of Bengal,” he said.
“Some AAP leaders would sprout overnight in Bengal and try to take advantage of the win but it would hardly be of any use. As far as TMC celebrations were concerned, it has no idea that it is next in line to get uprooted,” Sinha added.
Singer and BJP MP from Asansol, Babul Supriyo, said people were looking for an alternative. “I had been rigorously campaigning in Bongaon and have learnt that people have lost faith in politics and politicians. They will vote for themselves now. We have seen that happen in Delhi and the same will happen here as well,” he claimed.
“People in Bengal have seen that in the last 37 years CPM and TMC rule, they have been cheated and deprived. Now, if Trinamool doesn’t unleash its terror specialists and people can reach polling booths to vote, Bengal will see another change,” he said, adding that AAP won due to the party’s populist manifesto.