Prashant Kishore Audio clips of a Clubhouse conversation between Lutyens journalists and election strategist Prashant Kishor leaked and appeared on Twitter. Kishor, working for the Mamata Banerjee lead TMC, has admitted that his internal survey results suggest a comfortable BJP victory in the West Bengal State Legislative polls.
Without realising that the audio conversation on Club House app is being recorded, Prashant Kishor said, “If BJP is getting votes, then, it is due to the Modi and Hindu factor. Polarisation, Scheduled Castes (SCs), Hindi-speaking people are the other factors. Suvendu Adhikari’s exit or my entry has no bearing on the election results. There are over 1 crore Hindi-speaking people here and 27% SCs. All of them are standing with the BJP.”
On the voting preferences of the Matua community, Prashant Kishor said that, “Matuas will be predominantly voting for the BJP. However, they won’t be unitedly voting for the BJP as they did in the Lok Sabha polls. It will be 75% BJP and 25% TMC.”
On being quizzed about the reasons behind PM Modi’s overwhelming popularity in West Bengal, Prashant Kishor pointed out, “There is no anti-incumbency against the PM Modi. He has a cult of followers across India. There are at least 35% of people who find God in him. Whether this is good or bad is a different issue. PM Modi’s core base is the Hindi-speaking people. Plus, the anti-incumbency is against the State government and not the Centre.”
He added, “PM Modi and Mamata are equally popular, as we found in our survey. Modi is also popular because people here have not experienced the BJP rule in the State. This is a big factor. People here have not seen BJP government for the past 30-35 years. There is a huge turnout in Modi’s rallies. One factor is the mobilisation of people and the other is his popularity. There are no two opinions about it. Anger against TMC, polarisation and Modi’s popularity are the three main factors. On top of that, there is BJP’s election machinery.”
“Major problem that we have to accept is that there have been efforts for the last 20 years to appease the minorities. Take the example of Bengal. The simple strategy here has been that whoever has the Muslims vote, will form the government. Be it the Left, Congress or Didi’s government, the strategy has been to garner Muslim votes. For the first time, Hindus have realised that there is a party for them. It is not as if there is something wrong with the society altogether,” remarked Prashant Kishor.
He concluded, “This is the aspect that the BJP is exploiting. And this comes from the blatant use of minority politics by some of these parties. You and I cannot deny this reality.” The voting for the 4th phase of elections in West Bengal will take place on April 10 (Saturday) in the Northern districts of Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri. In the Southern region, polling will be conducted in Hooghly, Howrah, and South 24 Parganas districts. The results will be declared on May 2.