Bengal’s Perception: BJP Labelled as Outsider Party  

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Paromita Das

GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 11th June, 2024. Bengal’s election year has been incredibly important for the state’s politics as well as the country’s. Bengal seemed to be headed back toward change this year because of the amount of political activity in the state.

This was due to the events that followed the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) and paramilitary forces’ raid on the home of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan in the Sandeshkhali hamlet of North 24 Parganas, which rocked the political landscape of the state. Sheikh Shahjahan was able to flee at that point, but the police detained him 55 days later after pressure from the High Court.

Attacks on the Administration and Judiciary

When widespread corruption in the administration was revealed by the judiciary, the state government was unable to move on from the Sandeshkhali event. A major Member of Parliament was ousted due to grave misconduct charges, while numerous TMC ministers and leaders were already behind bars. More than 25,000 teachers’ and non-teaching staff members’ appointments were revoked by the Calcutta High Court on April 22. The court ruled all Other Backward Class (OBC) certificates issued after 2010 to be unlawful a month later.

The BJP’s Election Failures and Results

The BJP was hoping that the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections would help it because of everything that was going on in the state. Although it appeared that Bengalis were inclined toward change, the June 4 verdict crushed the expectations and dreams of the BJP. Although not significantly different from its 2019 record, the BJP’s performance was disappointing in comparison to predictions, according to a preliminary analysis of the election results. The party’s vote share increased little from 2021 to 2022, although stability was seen rather than progress and hope.

Failures in Planning and Organization

The BJP must address challenges pertaining to organization, policy, communication, and image in order to enhance its performance. The party was undermined by leadership deficiencies, a lack of cooperation among employees, and weaknesses at the booth level. The party’s reputation was harmed by ongoing violence and organizational shortcomings prior to, during, and following the elections. The BJP suffered greatly as a result of neglecting its core supporters in many Indian states, including Bengal. Other issues included poor coordination among the top leadership and disregard for older workers.

BJP’s Failing and TMC’s Successful Approach

However, the TMC counterattacked the court and federal investigative agencies, reversing all the negative elements surrounding its government, while the BJP failed to capitalize on this extremely favorable climate. The BJP made very little attempt to interact directly with people or comprehend their issues, whereas the TMC successfully leveraged its organizational power and technology to communicate personal messages to voters.

BJP as an outsider in Bengal

In Bengal, the BJP’s reputation is most important. The BJP’s reputation was harmed by the TMC’s portrayal of it as an outsider party. The image of the Bengal BJP was also damaged by its leaders’ over-reliance on Narendra Modi and other leaders. The party’s image was further harmed by its imitation leadership style and ignorance of Bengal’s intricate history and culture.

Though not as bad as it could have been, the BJP’s performance in 2024 still leaves room for improvement if it can solve these underlying issues and make up ground lost in the state elections of 2026. The party must address its concerns with organization, policies, communication, and image. In order to better relate to Bengali voters and address their issues, the party also needs to gain a thorough grasp of the state’s politics, history, and culture. The BJP won’t be able to influence Bengali politics in the long run till then.

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