With three poll phases remaining, Trinamool resurrects 'outsider' campaign against BJP

National |  IANS  | Published :

Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) With four phases of the Lok Sabha elections now over, the Trinamool Congress leadership has resurrected the “outsider-issue” against the BJP in West Bengal as it campaigns in the remaining constituencies that will go to polls in the next three phases.

This issue was absent in the party’s campaigns for the first four phases and political observers believe that raising it then might have proved counterproductive for the Trinamool.

This is because in out of the 18 Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls, three of the ruling party’s candidates do not have their roots in West Bengal.

The first two are former Indian cricket team players Yusuf Pathan from Baharampur constituency in Murshidabad District and Kirti Azad from Bardhaman-Durgapur West Burdwan District.

The third candidate is popular star of yesteryears Shatrughan Sinha who contested from Asansol in West Burdwan District.

While Azad and Sinha have their roots in neighbouring Bihar, Pathan is from Gujarat.

While Sinha has been able to establish links with Asansol in the last couple of years after being elected in the bye-elections there in 2022, Pathan and Azad got associated with their constituencies just before the polls this year.

Now, with polling for Asansol, Bardhaman-Durgapur, Baharampur and Darjeeling being over, the Trinamool is aggressively raising the outsider issue in its campaigns.

This is evident from the frequent references to “cultural and food habit invasion” while campaigning by the ruling party leaders.

Even Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee drew attention to some North Indian states and expressed apprehensions of a ban on non-vegetarian food if the BJP becomes powerful in West Bengal.

Political observers say that in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly election the “outsider” issue impacted the voters’ sentiments in a major way especially in state capital Kolkata and its adjoining districts and Trinamool reaped rich electoral dividends out of that.

So, in the remaining three phases, political observers visualise that the ruling party will take a more aggressive stance on this.

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