The outcome of Bengal elections for Modi’s Party BJP is neither good news nor time to cheer for an elevated status in Bengal legislature. There are some self-inflicting aspects that lead to a drubbing two-digit strength in Bengal. The outcome for BJP can be looked as a Glass with half water. Political pundits can access the loss with a half empty glass while BJP’s gain can be attributed with half water in the glass decimating Congress and Communist parties who once ruled for 60 years of Bengal and securing its place as Principal Opposition Party in the state. BJP have weighed more on the Muslim appeasement politics of Mamta Banerjee rather than countering her on development aspects apart from ignoring the negative aspects of the Government policies. BJP’s loss also contributed to amplifying factors of COVID mismanagement in the last 3 phases of Bengal polls. After 3 weeks of poll results, BJP is doing course correction and already set the ground for 2024 in Bengal.
Central leadership of BJP have replaced Kailash Vijay Vargiya who served as Bengal’s In Charge for six years and contributed the big win for BJP in 2019 General elections capturing 41% vote bank. His replacement became imperative considering various poll aspects. He was replaced with Union Minister Smriti Irani, a person who does not need any introduction. Smriti Irani, considered to be a top BJP leader who earned the accolades from all quarters of political arena by defeating Congress Scion Rahul Gandhi at Amethi in 2019 General Elections. Her win in 2019 did not come so easily, but she has worked with ground level Panchayat’s to the Farmers in Amethi and her frequent visits to Amethi from 2014 to 2019 have demonstrated her abilities to win people hearts, especially women. Her dedication of working with local people and by bringing industries to Amethi apart from establishing a District Magistrate office at Amethi is noteworthy. Her arduous work had paid off in 2019 by defeating Rahul Gandhi who served Amethi for straight 3 terms but hardly visit his constituency nor worked towards its development.
BJP’s decision to send Smriti Irani to Bengal as Central In Charge has so many calculations involved, especially her challenging work, dedication, and her instincts to connect with people, especially women are her positive factors. Apart from that, BJP desperately looking for a leader who can take on Mamata Banerjee who is now a third time Chief Minister. At this time, Mamata Banerjee’s political ambitions to get on to national politics became inevitable, BJP too have moved its best bet to dent Mamata Banerjee’s prospects at national level. Considering the dynamics of Bengal and a whopping forty-two MP’s representing the State, BJP is careful not lose the opportunity of winning the maximum seats. Winning Bengal in a big way will have a favorable result for BJP in 2024 General Elections.
BJP’s careful thought to deploy Smriti Irani is well planned considering her abilities and as a star campaigner apart from being a woman who has a mass appeal from poor to elite which makes her to take on Mamata Banerjee who is also a mass leader. The Bengal assembly elections in 2021 saw a women deficiency in Bengal BJP and this is also a reason women voted more in number to Mamata Banerjee thus, the gap must be filled with an equal status person who can be vocal to the issues, women outreach and counter Mamata Banerjee at every level. Smriti Irani, is a person who is a born Hindu and married to a Parsi man. Her interfaith credentials cannot be questioned by anyone. Not just that but Smriti Irani has Bengal back ground as her mother is Bengali and she is fluent in Bengali. Thus, even Mamata Banerjee cannot question her as an outsider.
Smriti Irani as a union minister for women and child development in Modi Cabinet can be a game changer in Bengal politics. Her recent election campaign in the state with her command on Bengali language has won the accolades from many. Her speeches went viral during the campaign apart from that as an Union Minister for Textile and Women development, her contribution to weavers and women cannot be ignored. She is known to be eloquent on issues concerning women and so she was chosen to take on another ferocious woman of her kind in Bengal. In coming months, she will be navigating into dangerous waters of Mamata Party’s bastions. and surely, she will make her presence.