For the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal, mob violence in Malda’s Kaliachak has generated political heat and also boosted BJP’s hopes. In the state so far, though BJP has been a marginal player but in and around Malda its leaders expect considerable gains.
“Kaliachack has had a huge impact across India,” said Alok Kundu, a senior leader of the local BJP unit.
He also said that if the elections are fair and free , In Malda in 2016 he is sure to get at least 7 seats out of total 12 assembly seats.
In Lok Sabha elections 2014, since the 1980s the BJP, a constant if seat-less presence in Malda increased its vote share by 15%.
In the state, the party has planned a spate of rallies. Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani , other central leaders and ministers were expected to attend these rallies. In Howrah on January 25, party chief Amit Shah attended a rally.
Mamata’s Banerjee government was asked for a report on January 3 mob violence by BJP-led NDA government. A team of lawmakers to Malda was send by the party,which was stopped from going to Kaliachak.
Since ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury was Indira Gandhi’s rail minister till the 1980s Malda has been a Congress fortress. In 2006, after his death, his family has protected his legacy both parliamentarians from the district are related to him.
In Malda, despite Trinamool’s Congress sweep across the state Congress won 8 of the 12 assembly seats in 2011. Since a member from Forward Bloc and Three Congress lawmakers have switched to the ruling party, Trinamool now has 5 from one seat in 2011.
BJP was accused by Trinamool since the Kaliachak violence of conducting a “communal” campaign. Malda has 52% Muslim population, much higher than the state’s 30%.
In Malda CPM, has steady presence and is dismissive about the BJP’s chances.
There was a Modi wave in 2014 which died. In 2015, in the civic polls BJP did poorly. In Bengal, this year they will have no luck and the hopes of ‘achche din’ have also died said by Ambar Mitra, chief of its local unit.