The rise of the BJP in West Bengal: A study of Lok Shaba and assembly election
Author(s): Md. Iftekhar Hussain
This paper discusses the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal politics. The BJP traces its origins to the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded in 1951. The Bharatiya Janata Party finally came into existence on April 6, 1980. In the 1980s, the BJP made its political debut in the West Bengal assembly and panchayat polls. Local elections were more successful for the party than assembly elections. Over time, BJP began to perform well, increasing its vote share at a steady pace. In the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, the BJP performed well and increased its vote share by fending off Communists and Congress. This article also examines several other factors responsible for the emergence of the BJP in West Bengal, such as the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 1990s and its alliance with the TMC in 1998. The BJP has been trying to mobilize the Hindu voters in Bengal by popularising Hindu slogans and festivals. This article concludes that the BJP will attempt to increase its vote share in the next assembly and Lok Sabha elections by consolidating its support across all the regions of West Bengal.