A FACE TOO MANY
India Today|September 07, 2020
A FACE TOO MANY
The BJP in Bengal, which was till recently scrabbling around for a chief ministerial candidate who could take on the charismatic incumbent Mamata Banerjee, is now looking at a problem of plenty. New names of aspirants for the top job, should the BJP win in next year’s assembly election, are popping up every week, creating confusion in the party’s rank and file.
Romita Datta

With the election just eight months away, the hesitation in projecting a face is understandable— ambition runs high in the state unit and factional rivalries could affect the party’s prospects. The flip side of dithering over that choice is that it might firm up popular perception that the BJP is yet to strike a chord in Bengal. Chances are indeed high that the BJP will ultimately fall back, as usual, on that solitary failsafe option of projecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and hope that he will carry the day. Even at risk of lending credence to the ruling Trinamool Congress’s narrative that the “Hindi heartland party” has little knowledge or understanding of Bengali culture, its ethos and its icons. The delay in projecting a bankable Bengali face is certainly raising doubts, especially among the intelligentsia, over how keen the BJP really is about its Bengal project.

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September 07, 2020