The Bharatiya Janata Party would have won the West Bengal Assembly election if the second wave of the coronavirus had not disrupted campaigning, party chief JP Nadda claimed on Thursday, PTI reported.

The West Bengal elections held in March and April last year coincided with the massive second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With the speed we had picked up during the election campaign, it was quite evident that we would strike the right chord and come to power,” Nadda said at a meeting in Kolkata. “But the second wave of Covid just after the fourth phase of polling forced us to call off our campaign.”

The BJP chief expressed confidence that the BJP would come to power in West Bengal after the next Assembly elections. He added that the BJP will continue to uphold Bengali pride, and to expose those who insult it.

Assembly elections in West Bengal were held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. All major political parties, including the BJP, held huge rallies through the first six phases of the election, during which thousands of supporters gathered without masks with little regard to physical distancing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among the senior leaders of the BJP who addressed rallies in the state.

Political parties stopped holding large rallies and roadshows only after an order of the Election Commission on April 22 that banned such events for the seventh and eighth phases of the polls.

The Trinamool Congress won the election by registering a victory in 213 seats, while the BJP won 77 constituencies. The Trinamool Congress secured a higher vote share than the BJP in all phases of the election, but the difference in the vote shares of the two parties was the highest in the last two rounds.

‘Don’t demand division of Bengal in public’: Nadda

Meanwhile, Nadda told BJP leaders not to raise demands for the division of West Bengal in the public domain, according to The Hindu. The BJP chief said that such matters can be discussed at party forums.

Party MPs Jayanta Roy and John Barla have sought separate statehood for North Bengal. Another party MP, Saumitra Khan, has demanded that a separate state should be carved out comprising the Jangalmahal region in the southwestern part of the state.