Sharpening its attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the BJP claimed that sensing her imminent defeat, she made the state Assembly polls “an ugly fight” to capture minority votes.
BJP’s West Bengal co-incharge Amit Malviya said: “The battle for Bengal boils down to an ugly fight to capture minority votes! The TMC and Abbas alliance (the Left-Congress-ISF coalition) have reduced the majority community to second grade citizens. As if they don’t matter. Bengal is watching this brazen appeasement politics and will respond on the ballot.
“There is a reason for this desperate appeal as ever since the news of Mamata Banerjee’s imminent defeat from Nandigram has gone across the state, there is growing buzz in the minority community to vote for the Abbas coalition. This means that TMC could well end up in third position.”
Addressing a election meeting, Banerjee had said: “A friend of the BJP has come from Hyderabad (Asaduddin Owaisi). They have also engaged a youth from Furfura Sharif (Abbas Siddiqui). They have joined hands. BJP is spending crores of rupees on them. They are trying to divide the minority community. Do not support them. Voting for them will mean voting for the BJP.”
A senior BJP leader said that Banerjee is making such appeal only after knowing that minority votes are going to split as huge crowds are seen at public meetings of Indian Secular Front (ISF) chief Siddiqui and the Sanjukta Morcha.
“Seeing the huge crowd, especially Muslim youths in Siddiqui’s meeting has rattled Mamata Didi. Initially she did not gave any importance of Siddiqui but situation in ground has changed after he joined Left and Congress and became part of Sanjukta Morcha,” a BJP leader said under condition of anonymity.
The ISF chief has influence in Hooghly, Nadia, and the North and South 24 Parganas and Owaisi’s AIMIM has presence in Murshidabad and Malda.
A saffron party leader said that Banerjee’s main concern is 26 seats in minority dominated rural belt of south Bengal where the Sanjukta Morcha is banking on Siddiqui’s popularity and Owaisi also giving her a headache in Murshidabad and Malda.