Shah confident of winning 200 seats out of 294 in West Bengal
New Delhi: A day after the first votes were cast in the assembly elections in West Bengal, Union Home Minister and the former BJP president Amit Shah claimed that the party is going to win 26 seats out of 30 assembly constituencies, where elections were held on Saturday. Not only that, he is confident of winning 200 assembly seats out of 294 in the state.
"Based on the feedback from our booth workers working in the ground in West Bengal and Assam assembly elections, I firmly believe that the BJP is going to win more than 26 out of 30 assembly segments in West Bengal and more than 37 assembly segments out of 47 which went to polls in the Assam in the first round of elections in the two states," he said.
Shah called for a press conference at his residence in the national capital on Sunday afternoon and specifically congratulated the Election Commission for the "peaceful conduct" of the first phase of elections in Assam and West Bengal and said that West Bengal never witnessed such an eventless election in the recent past as no incidents of violence were reported from the state. "It is an indication that BJP will win more than 200 seats," Shah added.
Making a scathing attack on the chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Union Home Minister said that the 10 years of Mamata government in West Bengal was marked by exploitation, appeasement, corruption and violence. He further added that people had hoped the state would prosper when Banerjee ended the Left rule. "But nothing changed," Shah said.
However, TMC's Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien mentioned in a tweet shortly after Shah's press conference, "Mind games won't work, Mo-Sha" (a reference to Modi-Shah).
84 per cent of votes were polled in the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections, which both BJP and TMC see in their favour. Mamata Banerjee said that she can surmise that people have voted for her, on the other side BJP claimed that this a sign of anti-incumbency.
Meanwhile, Shah urged the voters in Nandigram to start the change in the state by defeating CM Banerjee, saying, "One Nandigram can change the elections and will help West Bengal to become 'Sonar Bangla'." This statement came after he was quizzed over Mamata's phonecall, a purported audio clip in which CM Banerjee could be heard talking to Pralay Pal, a former Trinamool worker from the assembly constituency, who has recently defected to the BJP. The audiotape, released by the saffron party created a flutter on the polling day.
Further, another phone call between two BJP leaders in Bengal - national vice president Mukul Roy and state BJP leader Shishir Bajoria- which has unleashed a fresh political storm. In the leaked phone call, Roy purportedly said the Election Commission should be requested to pass administrative orders permitting any voter anywhere in Bengal to be booth agents at any booth in the state. Whereas, the Commission passed an order last week, allowing Bengal voters to be booth agents anywhere in the state. The Trinamool has been asking for this order to be scrapped.
While asked by media persons, the Union Home Minister sees that there was nothing wrong with the conversation as the BJP had made those demands in writing. "No tapping was required for this. But the question is who tapped the phone, and the media does not raise these questions! This should be made public. Is this the way in a democracy?" he avouched.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has sent its biggest stars to campaign for what is the most important election of this season. The Union Home Minister personally released the manifesto and monitoring every micro-level activities in the state of West Bengal. However, political experts say that though Assam has had some attention, the elections in southern India, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry have been almost ignored by the party.