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Thursday, May 06, 2021

TMC has ‘admitted defeat’, says BJP after poll strategist’s chat

Prashant Kishor, Mamata Banerjee's election strategist, has purportedly said in a public chat on Clubhouse, a social media platform, that Trinamool Congress's internal surveys show BJP is winning the West Bengal elections.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 11, 2021 4:03:16 am
Prashant Kishor at an Idea Exchange with The Indian Express in March

The BJP on Saturday alleged that the TMC has already “admitted defeat” in West Bengal Assembly polls, citing portions of a discussion of party’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor in which is heard saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is popular in Bengal, and that Dalits are firmly behind the saffron party.

As the BJP played and replayed the audio clips, made during an interaction with journalists on the audio app Clubhouse, Kishor did not deny that he made the comments, and said that the clips were taken out of context. He also said he stands by his prediction that BJP would not cross a hundred seats.

He tweeted, “They should show courage and share the full chat instead of getting excited with selective use of parts of it. I have said this before and repeating again — BJP will not to CROSS 100 in WB. Period.”

In the Clubhouse clips that BJP released, Kishor said, “If there is a vote (for BJP) then it is in the name of Modi, in the name of being Hindu. Polarisation, Modi, SC (Scheduled Castes), Hindi-speaking – these are the factors. So whether a Hindu is going or Prashant Kishor is coming, that has no bearing. Modi is popular here. Hindi-speaking people have more than 1 crore votes. Dalits are 27 per cent and they stand with BJP fully. Plus, there is definitely polarisation.”

In the clip released by BJP, Kishor was asked where the Matua vote will go, to which he said “75-25” to BJP, but not as unitedly as in Lok Sabha polls.

Kishor also said, in the clip released, that both Mamata Banerjee and Modi are “equally popular”. He said that one of the problems (for TMC) is that for “20 years, there has been minority appeasement”, and that Hindus now feel “someone is caring for them”.

On Twitter, journalists who were part of the Clubhouse interaction said that Kishor had repeatedly said that TMC would win, and that he stood by his statement that BJP would not cross a hundred seats, but that this was a fight between TMC and BJP.


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