Phenomenal rise of BJP as Mamata Banerjee’s enemy number 1 in West Bengal is true; here’s why

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New Delhi | Updated: May 1, 2018 2:54:32 PM

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is very close to sweeping the upcoming three-tier West Bengal Panchayat Election on May 14. The party has already grabbed 34 per cent of seats without any contest.

WEST BENGAL PANCHAYAT ELECTION 2018In terms of the number of candidates fielded by the saffron party, the BJP is a force to reckon with in rural areas of four districts.

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is very close to sweeping the upcoming three-tier West Bengal Panchayat Election on May 14. The party has already grabbed 34 per cent of seats without any contest. However, data show that despite TMC’s staggering performance, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has risen to become the principal opposition party. In terms of the number of candidates fielded by the saffron party, the BJP is a force to reckon with in rural areas of four districts.

The BJP has managed to keep candidates till the end of nomination withdrawal process. Out of 48, 650 gram panchayat seats, BJP has fielded 23, 445 candidates. While Left Front and Congress are at third and fourth positions with 16,818 and 5,925 nominations. In Panchayat Samiti, 5,218 BJP candidates are contesting in total of 9,217 seats, Left Front and Congress have fielded candidates in 4,380 and 1,439 seats respectively. In Zilla Parishad, BJP has candidates in 629 out of 825 seats. CPM and Congress have candidates in 552 and 353 seats respectively. Interestingly, TMC has fielded more candidates than the total number of seats in gram panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad, according to The Telegraph.

If we look at the district-wise performance of BJP, the saffron party has reasons to cheer in Alipurduar, South Dinajpur, Jhargram and Purulia. In Gram Panchayats, BJP has fielded candidates 95.09 per cent seats in Alipurduar, 94.36 per cent seats in South Dinajpur, 96.77 percent seats in Jhargram and 98.76 per cent in Purulia. The picture is similar in Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad when the BJP has candidates in over 90 per cent seats, The Telegraph reported today.

According to pollsters, BJP’s rise in rural Bengal, especially in these four districts, is no fluke. The reasons cited are sizeable populations of tribals in these four districts. RSS and its associate outfits have a good presence in Purulia and Jhargram districts, according to the Telegraph.

The rise of BJP in last four years has been phenomenal. In the last rural body polls in the state, the BJP was nowhere to be seen in the race.

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