West Bengal is looking for another change, and if ground sources to be believed, BJP is trying its best to replicate Tripura kind of upset in the Communist turned Trinamool bastion. National General Secretary and West Bengal In-Charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Kailash Vijayvargiya who is keeping a close eye on the elections management in the State with 42 Lok Sabha Constituencies, spoke to Nishant Kr Azad, Senior Correspondent, Organiser about the election strategy, the rise of BJP in the State and other important issues in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
How do you assess the current political scenario in Bengal, especially after the stories of political violence coming every now and then?
Look, there is no democracy in West Bengal. If anything that exists, it is the dictatorship of Mamata Banerjee. She believes neither in the Indian Constitution nor in the institutions. She does whatever she likes. She oppresses her opponents. About 86 BJP karyakartas have been brutally murdered in Bengal in the last three years.
Not only this, the TMC workers are killing each other. In recent years, more than 60 such TMC workers have brutally been killed in their infighting. The prime reason behind these killings and feud are essentially based on the share of money in the syndicate nexus and the money extorted from the general public. The TMC is indulging in the politics of violence as part of this mafia culture.
Recently many TMC leaders joined BJP ahead of the General Elections. TMC is alleging that BJP is poaching its leaders. How do you see this allegation?
Leaders in TMC are very uncomfortable and feel suffocated with the politics of Mamata Banerjee. Nobody can work under her dictatorship. That’s why, dumping her, a large number of TMC karyakartas have joined BJP along with a few senior leaders. Many TMC workers are willing to join BJP, but they are afraid of the TMC goons.
Leaders in TMC are very uncomfortable and feel suffocated with the politics of Mamata Banerjee. Nobody can work under her dictatorship. That’s why, dumping her, a large number of TMC karyakartas have joined BJP along with few senior leaders. Many TMC workers are willing to join BJP, but they are afraid of the TMC goons.TMC is so scared of BJP that they have levelled many charges against senior leaders like Mukul Da (Mukul Roy) under Article 302 of CPC. At least, 10-12 cases have been filed against me. The way Bengal police works there, it seems that they are not the police but extension of the TMC hooligans. There is an environment of anarchy in the State. The people of Bengal are looking for freedom from this State of anarchy, violence and dictatorship.
In December 2018, the West Bengal police busted a fake voter ID racket in Bongaon. There are reports that lakhs of fake voter ID cards were made for Bangladeshi refugees. How is BJP going to deal with it?
We have informed about the issue to the Election Commission, and they have asked the body to double-check and verify the voters' list. It is true that a large number of Bangladeshi infiltrators have acquired Aadhar and Voter cards. This is precisely the reason why Mamata Banerjee opposed the updation of National Citizenship Register (NRC) tooth and nail. It poses a serious threat to the security of the country. Mamata should be ashamed of it. She knows that they are a threat to Bharat’s internal security. Her vote-bank politics is putting the nation in jeopardy.
What are the issues BJP is going to raise during the election in Bengal?
Firstly, National security is our top priority. Secondly, infiltration of Bangladeshis which is a threat to internal security; and thirdly unemployment, corruption and law and order in the State. These are the issues we are going to raise during the election rallies. Bangladeshis are taking away the rights of the people of West Bengal and snatching jobs from the locals. And because of them, the Samskar (values), Sanskriti (culture) and future of Bengal are under threat.It is true that a large number of Bangladeshi infiltrators have acquired Aadhar and Voter cards. It poses a serious threat to the security of the country. Mamata should be ashamed of it. She knows that they are a threat to Bharat’s internal security. Her vote-bank politics is putting the nation in jeopardy. There is no law and order in the State. The State Government is neck-deep into corruption. The Chit Fund scam has exposed Mamata’s real face. When CBI tried to take action against the perpetrators of Sharda Chit Fund scam, Mamata sat on dharna along with the Superintendent of Police. Instead of standing with the victims of Chit Fund scam, she is helping the looters outside and inside the administration. Those who considered Mamata as their leader is now feeling cheated and people will teach her a lesson in the coming Parliamentary and Assembly polls.
How big is the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration in the polls?
NRC is essential for the security of the country because infiltrators are not limited to the borders only; they are now living in many parts of Bharat. Even in the capital city of Bharat, a large number of infiltrators are living, and through NRC, we have to identify them, delete their names from the voter's list and then prepare a strategy to send them back to their homeland. The way Mamata is giving a helping hand to the infiltrators is a clear security threat.
All the recent surveys are showing BJP’s surge in West Bengal. How many seats is BJP expecting from WB?
This is a good sign for us. As our national President Amit Shah ji has mentioned, we are targeting minimum 23 seats, but the way momentum is picking up in favour of BJP, and against Mamata Banerjee, we are expecting much more.
Once again Mamata Banerjee raised questions over Balakot Air Strike. She did the same after the first Surgical Strike last year.
This is really depressing and unacceptable. Mamata is speaking the language of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Mamata is free to condemn Narendra Modi, but she has no right to insult armed forces of Bharat and ask for proof of surgical strike and air strike especially after such a brave and precise operation. Rather than admiring the action, she is questioning it. This is shameful, no patriot would accept it in any country.
The politics of appeasement is not good for the country. And all this is happening because she is losing ground in Bengal. After her statement against the surgical strike, a large number of TMC workers joined BJP because they felt cheated and do not agree with the Mamata opinion. They are angry.
There is news of an internal divide in the Bengal BJP as well.
There is no factionalism in BJP. The whole party is united, and I have observed this. There is no fight of political ambition in West Bengal BJP. Here the party has still to go a long way organisationally. We have recently emerged as a challenger in West Bengal politics.
Right now we have a large number of ground workers; we do not have many leaders. Factionalism starts when there are too many leaders. One can see the hard work of party workers in election results.
East is going to be a deciding factor in the polls. In that situation, what will be the BJP’s strategy to counter Mamata in polls?
Mamata Banerjee is a ‘nobody’ outside West Bengal. This time she will lose in West Bengal too. North Bengal is totally out of her control. The way her State machinery killed innocent people in the mountains, people are very angry with this cruel behaviour of Mamata.
Many central schemes like Ayushmaan Bharat are not reaching to the common people in W Bengal, don’t you think this will hamper BJP’s prospects in the State?
It is not about the gain or loss of BJP. There can be no other sin than letting a needy person deprived of the benefits of the scheme that can save his/her life. Unfortunately, Mamataji is doing the same in West Bengal. She does not want the people of the State to know about the schemes launched by Modiji, and draw any benefit out of it. Her politics of hatred does not allow her to think about welfare of the people.
Many times, BJP accuses Mamata Banerjee of Muslim appeasement in politics.
Yes, it is true. Muslim appeasement politics is breaking the social structure of Bengal. In over ten districts one can see the demographic changes, and if the appeasement and vote bank politics of Mamata continues, this is going to be scary.
Congress & CPM are alleging that both TMC & BJP are indulging in violent & communal politics to help each other.
TMC, Congress and CPM all are hand in glove with each other in the State, and they do not want the rise of BJP in West Bengal. Now you can see how Congress and TMC are helping each other. At once CPM, TMC and Congress used to fight with each other and sometimes kill each other’s workers.
They can go to any extent just to oppose BJP, but they will not be successful in this negative ambition of stopping BJP and PM Modi in Bengal. And we will see this in the election results.
There is no big face of BJP in Bengal. How will the party counter Mamata without the face?
Generally, in the states where we have existing and established leadership, we fight the election on those faces. We saw this in the States like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan; we had a leadership face there, and we fought on those faces like Shivraj ji, Raman Singh ji and Vasundhara ji. But in the states, where we are gaining new ground, we generally do not declare the Chief Ministerial face. The Elections of Maharashtra, Haryana, Tripura and even State like Uttar Pradesh are best examples of this. This is anyway a Parliamentary election; we will fight on Modiji’s face and performance of the Modi Government. I assure you that the people of Bengal are looking for freedom from anarchy and Modi ji is the only hope for them.