Ahead of the much-anticipated 2021 West Bengal Assembly Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be holding its cards close, just careful enough so as to not let the opposition have a snide peek at its hand before the call.
The question of who gets pitched as the chief ministerial candidate from the saffron camp has been plaguing the Bengal electocracy and political commentators for some time, and it seems like the party is painfully aware of the dilemma as well. The BJP has now decided to let the question linger for a while longer, at least till well after the elections are over.
BJP General Secretary and West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday (January 20) confirmed what many, who were watching closely the election scenario gradually unfold in the state, had been suspecting for a while now -- that the BJP has not yet come up with a proper chief ministerial candidate from its camp, even merely months ahead of the polls.
Therefore, the party has now decided to contest the polls without a chief ministerial face and is apparently confident of deciding CM prospects later, after it secures a 'majority' in the polls.
"No chief ministerial face will be projected (in West Bengal Assembly elections). After securing the majority, the party leadership and the MLAs will decide who will become the chief minister: BJP's Kailash Vijayvargiya said today.
What does this mean for saffron camp's electoral prospects in West Bengal?
Apparently, it seems like the party will continue bidding its future in the polls solely upon the campaigning done by the central BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and party president JP Nadda, all of who have turned their attention to the state ahead of the polls.
Earlier this week, Bengal Yuva Mocha president Saumitra Khan had ended up saying that state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh will be the chief minister if the party comes to power in West Bengal. However, soon after his comment, Khan was censured by Vijayvargiya, the party's Bengal in-charge, for his comments.
It appears like the BJP is suffering from a dubious clash in its inner ranks over the lucrative chief ministerial chair, which has resulted in indecision and contradictory statements by party leaders on multiple ocassions.
Whether the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) can capitalise on the opportunity adequately, however, still remains to be seen.