Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Saturday reiterated his prediction that the Bharatiya Janata Party will struggle to cross double digits in West Bengal Assembly polls. The state will go to polls in eight phases from March 27 to April 29.
Kishor, who is helping the Trinamool Congress in formulating its strategy for the upcoming polls, also shared the ruling party’s main slogan – Bengal only wants its own daughter – a reference to people of the state voting for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“One of the key battles FOR DEMOCRACY in India will be fought in West Bengal, and the people of Bengal are ready with their MESSAGE and determined to show the RIGHT CARD - #BanglaNijerMeyekeiChay (Bengal Only Wants its Own Daughter),” he tweeted. “PS: On 2nd May, hold me to my last tweet.”
In his last tweet posted on December 21, the political strategist had vowed to quit Twitter if the BJP crossed the double-digit mark in the polls. “For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in #WestBengal,” he had tweeted. “PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space!”
Kirshor’s Saturday tweet came a day after the Election Commission of India announced the polling schedule for West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala along with the Union Territory of Puducherry. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that counting of votes in all states and the Union Territory will be held on May 2.
The elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases from March 27. The term of the state Assembly will end on May 31. The date of elections are March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. In 2015, the elections were held in seven phases. With eight phases this time, the West Bengal Assembly election is said to be the longest polls ever in the state.
The elections in West Bengal will be a closely-watched contest. In the run-up to the polls, the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress party have engaged in political mudslinging. The BJP is seeking to make inroads in the state. Its aggressive campaign ahead of the polls has sparked a mass exodus of TMC leaders many of whom have joined the saffron party.
Following the Election Commission’s announcement, Banerjee raised questions on the poll body’s decision to hold Assembly elections in the state in eight phases.
“I have information from my sources that the poll dates are similar to the ones BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] wanted,” she alleged. “Have the dates been announced as per the suggestions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah?”