Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) A day after the BJP was routed in the West Bengal by-polls, its state Vice President and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand nephew Chandra Kumar Bose on Friday questioned the party’s campaign strategy saying there was no need to highlight the NRC issue and warned the leadership that bringing religion into politics won’t bring dividends.
“Bengal is the land of Swami Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Here one shouldn’t bring religion into politics. Religion has its own place. But if you do politics with religion in Bengal, that won’t be successful,” he said.
The ruling Trinamool Congress won all three seats – Kaliaganj, Karimpur and Kharagpur Sadar – in the by-poll, with the BJP coming second everywhere.
He said despite the party having the spontaneous backing of the people, it drew a blank in the bypolls due to “organisational deficiencies and also because some issues which we highlighted before the people, were actually non-issues”.
Bose said in the present political scenario in Bengal, it would have been better had the party not raised such issues, and instead concentrated on being by the side of the people to understand their problems.
He said while the National Register for Citizens was an issue in Assam since 1985, there was never much discussion about it in West Bengal over the years, pointing out Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah had categorically said here that first the Citizens Amendment Bill will come into effect, and then only will discussions be started on NRC.
“I think there was no need to campaign on NRC as we have done in the bypolls. There are many other problems in Bengal, and people want to know how the BJP can help them.
“There is the problem of unemployment, there are no core sector industries. People want to know whether we can bring factories in Bengal.. whether we want Tata Motors back in the state,” he said.
Noting Bengal was a state of politically conscious people, where the people have a Left mindset due to the 34-year-long reign of the Left Front, he said: “But now it (the mindset) is changing. People are coming forward. They feel BJP deserves a chance. But we have to go ahead and grab the opportunity. There is some gap which we need to fill. Then only we can come to power in Bengal.”
He said the state has a history, culture, and tradition of its own, which one needed to understand.
“The sort of campaign you can conduct in Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh, that won’t work in West Bengal. So we need to devise a separate strategy here,” he said.
Bose said he has already given his proposal to Shah. “They are discussing it.”