Why Rajib Banerjee is Key to Saffron Challenge in Howrah

What Suvendu Adhikari is to the BJP in East Medinipur, Rajib Banerjee is to the get together in Howrah.

Like Adhikari, Banerjee, too, was a strong minister within the Trinamool Congress (TMC) authorities, earlier than he joined the Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) somewhat over two months in the past.

The St. Xavier’s Faculty graduate is combating once more from Howrah’s Domjur, the seat he has retained since 2011 as a TMC heavyweight; 40% of the voters on this constituency are Muslims.

Therefore, his marketing campaign technique is totally different from that of Adhikari in Nandigram, the place the BJP has primarily targeted on the Hindu vote; Adhikari, who gained the high-profile seat in 2016 on TMC ticket, is up towards the chief minister herself.

Banerjee exudes confidence of retaining Domjur as a BJP candidate. “Mine is a minority-dominated seat, and I have accepted the challenge to win this seat again. Muslims, too, are with me,” he tells News18 in an unique interview, campaigning within the Muslim-dominated Danshpara village of Domjur.

Bharosa rakhiye, sab theek hai (have faith in me, all is well),” he tells Muslim elders as he walks the muddy lanes within the village; his staff is accompanied by an influential Muslim resident of the world.

Touching the ft of elders and chatting with Muslim kids, Banerjee says altering sides would make no distinction. “I am a family member of each and every person of the constituency. They know me very well. They know I have been with them for the last 10 years, and have never believed in caste, creed or religion. For me, this is not political campaigning, but revisiting my family,” he provides.

Throughout his march by the village, just a few Muslim males wave black flags at him, along with his supporters chanting Vande Mataram and the BJP’s political slogans. Banerjee maintains calm, and asks his supporters to not get into any confrontation and transfer on. There aren’t any Jai Sri Ram slogans shouted by BJP supporters right here.


Kalyan Ghosh, the TMC candidate from Domjur, has been telling voters that Banerjee is “the other Suvendu” who backstabbed and betrayed CM Mamata Banerjee by becoming a member of palms with the BJP. The Muslim-dominated villages of Domjur are plastered with TMC posters.

“They have nothing else to say…,” Banerjee remarks, when requested concerning the TMC’s cost of him being “the other Suvendu”. “I was there (in the TMC). But look at the way they behaved with me, the way they stopped all my work; they stopped my development work for the people of Bengal and Domjur. Naturally, I had to take a decision. There was some vision I had, (and) I told them about it several times. I was not satisfied. Now, they are campaigning against me…and launching personal attacks. Even Mamata left the INC (Congress) and formed a new party…and then, sometimes she was with the NDA (BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre) and sometimes with the UPA (Congress-led United Progressive Alliance)…everyone wants a comfort zone,” he says.

Banerjee, clearly the tallest chief from Howrah district, has his activity reduce out. Alongside Domjur, the BJP hopes his affect will swing votes in its favour within the district’s 15 different seats that the get together has by no means gained.

In reality, even within the 2019 nationwide elections (when the BJP gained 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats), the get together was forward in only one out of the 16 meeting segments in Howrah, which has a excessive Muslim inhabitants. However BJP leaders say they’ll win at the least seven-eight seats this time. The 16 seats of Howrah vote in third and fourth rounds of the eight-phase elections.

Banerjee, too, believes the BJP has a superb probability in Howrah. “You will see the results of Howrah district and other places of Bengal. I will go to other places of the state after the fourth phase. I am sure the BJP will come to power. You have seen what has happened in Nandigram, where the CM herself would lose…So, naturally, we have said we will secure 200 seats (of the state’s 294 assembly constituencies). In Howrah, too, you will see the magic,” Banerjee tells News18.

He turns to Muslim villagers to remind them of the work he has finished for them —roads, drains and water pipelines. “They have faith in me,” Banerjee reiterates.

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