‘Shah principal of college where Kishor still student’

Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP general secretary in charge of the party’s Bengal affairs, said Amit Shah was a bigger poll strategist than Prashant Kishor

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Kolkata: Taking a dig at Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee for engaging election strategist Prashant Kishor for the 2021 West Bengal assembly election, the BJP said he is not a “bigger” strategist than its president Amit Shah.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said the people of Bengal have lost confidence in Chief Minister Banerjee and no poll strategist can turn the tide.

Shah is a bigger poll strategist than Kishor, Vijayvargiya said. As far as election strategy is concerned, the BJP chief “is the principal of the college in which Kishor is still a student”, Vijayvargiya, who is a BJP general secretary and the party’s in-charge for West Bengal, said.

Kishor met Banerjee here on Thursday, raising speculation about working with her in the near future to help her foil the BJP’s growing influence in the state and maintain her grip on Bengal for the 2021 state polls.

“The people of Bengal have lost their confidence in Mamata Banerjee. They have made up their mind to oust Banerjee and the Trinamool. Now, no poll strategist will be able to turn the tide,” Vijayvargiya said.

“We should not forget that no one is a bigger poll strategist than our party president Amit Shah and it has been proved time and again,” he said.

The Trinamool can engage as many poll strategists as it wants, but that hardly matters as people have already made up their mind to oust the Banerjee government, he said.

“We are not at all bothered,” Vijayvargiya said.

Though both the Trinamool leadership and Kishor remained tight-lipped about the appointment, sources in Banerjee’s party said the poll strategist is likely to start his work in Bengal with his team from July.

Kishor and his team will initially look into the reasons behind the defeat in various seats, which were considered to be strongholds of the Trinamool, they said.

“After that, he would put in place a strategy for the victory of the party in the next assembly polls, which would also include reaching out to the masses with various developmental projects of the state government,” a senior Trinamool leader said on the condition of anonymity.

The saffron party came up with a stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls by winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal in the recently-concluded general election, only four less than the Trinamool’s 22.

Buoyed by its performance, BJP leaders are now claiming that their next target is to overthrow the Trinamool from power in the 2021 Bengal polls.

Vijayvargiya, after the interview, went to Delhi to officiate over 17 councillors of the Darjeeling Municipality formally joining the BJP. With this act, the party has usurped a second municipality without participating in the civic polls after a similar defection from the Trinamool happened in Barrackpore, the Lok Sabha seat of which the saffron party has won already.