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Modi Turns Focus On West Bengal; Hopes Up Among BJP Workers After Bihar Win

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee without naming her.
A supporter of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks through a mask of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a protest rally allegedly against atrocities of police and Trinamool Congress party on BJP supporters in West Bengal state in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
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A supporter of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks through a mask of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a protest rally allegedly against atrocities of police and Trinamool Congress party on BJP supporters in West Bengal state in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

The Bihar elections are over, and the NDA had an easy win with 125 seats. Now, it has already turned its gaze towards West Bengal where elections will be held in 2021.

In his speech on the Bihar election win, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a mention of West Bengal, taking a dig at chief minister Mamata Banerjee, without naming her.

NDTV quoted Modi as saying, “Today, those unable to challenge us, some of those people have adopted the path of murder of our workers. In some parts of the country they think that by killing BJP workers they will fulfil their ambitions. I do not think I need to warn them, because in a democracy, the people speak.”

The prime minister made the remarks at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The BJP has alleged over and over again that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has killed several of its workers, a charge that the party had denied.

The win in Bihar has also given hope to BJP workers in Bengal. The BJP headquarters in Kolkata saw huge celebrations after the win in Bihar.

The Telegraph quoted Narayan Chatterjee, a local BJP member, as saying, “We are here to celebrate the win in Bihar. Now it is time for the people in Bengal to cast their votes and bring the BJP to power here.”

The BJP, the report said, had come up with a new slogan as well — Ebar Bangla, parle samla (It’s Bengal’s turn now, stop us if you can).

The report said that some BJP members, however, believe that winning Bengal would be more difficult for various reasons — there are no allies in West Bengal and there are differences among senior party members like Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy.

While Modi may have made the comments right now, but the BJP national leadership has had its focus on West Bengal for quite a while now — from protests led by Bangalore MP Tejasvi Surya in front of the state secretariat to planning Durga Puja festivities in the state.

Home minister Amit Shah, who was mostly absent from the scene in Bihar, visited West Bengal only last week. “I want to appeal to the people of Bengal to uproot the TMC government and give the BJP an opportunity to form the next government. We will transform the state into Sonar Bangla,” he had said.

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.