Uttarakhand: BJP wooing Bengalis in community-dominated Assembly seats


Knowing the importance of the Bengali community in next year’s Uttarakhand assembly elections, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to woo them. Recently BJP chief J P Nadda held an interaction with the Bengali community during his two-day visit to the poll bound state.

The community, which migrated to the state from former East Pakistan in 1971 after the formation of Bangladesh, has influence in over half a dozen constituencies in the 70-member Uttarakhand assembly. They had migrated to Udham Singh Nagar and nearby areas of the state and play an influential role in Sitarganj, Gadarpur, Rudrapur, Kichha, Khatima and a couple of other assembly constituencies.

A senior BJP leader from Uttarakhand said that the Bengali community has influence in seven to nine assembly constituencies and plays a decisive role in these seats. “The electoral fate of any candidate or political party in these assembly constituencies is decided by the Bengalis. No party can afford to ignore them. We are also trying to win their support to form the government for a second consecutive term after next year’s assembly polls,” he said.

Another party leader pointed out that to achieve ‘Mission 60+’ in the forthcoming polls in the state, the BJP needs to win all these seats along with sweeping across Uttarakhand.

“Currently most of the seats are with the BJP and to achieve ‘Mission 60+’, we need to retain these assembly segments and it will only be possible by winning the support of the Bengali community,” he said.

In its efforts to woo the Bengali community in the state, the BJP government has exempted writing ‘East Pakistan’ in their caste certificates. Nadda during his interaction with the community announced the BJP government’s decision. “To ensure dignity and treat them at par with other citizens of the country, the Pushkar Singh Dhami government removed the practice of mentioning ‘East Pakistan’ in their caste certificate. Now they are like any other citizens of the country,” Uttarakhand BJP vice president Devendra Bhasin told IANS.

Bhasin said that the BJP government is concerned about all the communities including Bengalis when they are being mistreated and facing atrocities in West Bengal at the hands of the ruling Trinamool Congress. “When West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is doing nothing about the atrocities faced by the Bengali community in her state, the BJP government has given them dignity by removing ‘East Pakistan’ from their caste certificate,” Bhasin said.

While addressing the community members on November 16, Nadda assured them that the BJP government is fully committed to fulfil all demands and wishes of the people of the Bengali community. He also used the opportunity to hit out at the Mamata Banerjee government and said, “West Bengal gave direction to the country, showed the path to the country, but today West Bengal is going through a very bad phase. Corruption, crime, lawlessness, political killings and lack of rule has badly hurt the soul of West Bengal. Today West Bengal is bleeding and innocent people are being killed.”

“In West Bengal the BJP is fighting a political battle in a democratic manner and we are also fighting for rights and freedom of the people of West Bengal. ‘Lotus’ will blossom in West Bengal, the BJP will surely form the government in the state. The condition of West Bengal and the progress and development of the state can only be ensured by the BJP,” Nadda had said.