The battle lines in Bengal seems to have been drawn between the BJP and TMC, with the BJP is now expected to take an aggressive stance against the ruling Trinamool Congress. This comes following the souring of ties between the two parties over delay in ratification of the GST Bill by the West Bengal Assembly.
According to a report in Indian Express, this seen as a part of BJP’s push to win more seats in Bengal, as it is one of the seven states where the BJP has identified around 115 seats as its focus for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, as it could lose many of the current seats in the Hindi heartland.
The news report quoted BJP sources as saying that the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, which is probing the Narada sting operation against several TMC MPs, is expected to “move swiftly on the issue”. The committee, headed by senior BJP leader LK Advani, had sought an explanation from five TMC Lok Sabha members, but had not taken further action. Now, a BJP leader said, there would be “developments”.
“The BJP will put pressure on the Ethics Committee to move swiftly on the issue,” the leader said.
Eight of the 15 members in the committee are from the BJP. Five active members of the TMC had figured in the Narada sting operation named ‘X files’ done by its Editor-in-Chief Mathew Samuel. They were Saugata Roy (Dum Dum), Sultan Ahmad (Uluberia), Suvendu Adhikari (Tamluk), Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Barasat) and Prasoon Banerjee (Howrah). Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy was also seen in the footage.
“The BJP did not take the offensive against the TMC as it had supported the government’s legislative business in the Rajya Sabha. The GST was most important among them, but the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) played politics over it. Now the BJP will take a fresh approach on issues involving the TMC,” the BJP leader said.
According to L K Advani, the aggressive approach was “long overdue”. West Bengal, he said, was one of the six states that Amit Shah had mentioned in his first address as party chief to the National Council on August 9, 2014.
“…We will have to make special efforts to win elections and form our governments in states like Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where we have polled a significant percentage of votes. To realise this, we should make the BJP’s effective presence felt in each panchayat, zila parishad, municipal corporation and other elected bodies,” he had said. So the gloves are off between the BJP and TMC in Bengal.