Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (April 14) at last launched his election campaign in West Bengal with a speech in Darjeeling district.
Coming down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party he directly accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading hatred in the society and dividing voters on caste, community and other lines be it in West Bengal, Assam or Tamil Nadu.
He warned the people of the state that the rich cultural heritage of West Bengal would be destroyed once the BJP comes to power.
Though Rahul did not spare the Trinamool Congress and the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee for the widespread corruption the main thrust of his speech was on the BJP. He said that neither the Modi government nor the one in the state had provided jobs to the people of the state.
What is interesting is that Rahul chose to launch his election campaign in West Bengal after the four phases of polling are over. Instead of other parts of the state he opted for North Bihar where apparently the BJP is in a better position. In 2019 Lok Sabha poll the party won seven out of eight seats.
But this time the Trinamool Congress has managed to win over the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is contesting three seats in alliance with it. As Gurkhas are in good number in Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri etc the new combination may pose a big challenge for the saffron party in this entire region, including the hills.
That is why a few days back while addressing an election meeting, home minister Amit Shah assured the Gurkhas that they would not be affected by the NRC. The assurance came after one lakh Gurkhas found their names missing from the NRC list in Assam. This created suspicion in the mind of many Gurkhas.
The Trinamool Congress and Congress both are trying to exploit this new situation.
As a Samyukt Morcha constituent the Congress is contesting in 92 seats while the Indian Secular Front of Abbas Siddiqui has put up its candidates on 30 seats. The rest 172 have been left for the Left Front.