BJP Bandh In West Bengal: Flop ShowThe BJP bandh in West Bengal against the alleged police firing that killed two students in Islampur in Uttar Dinajpur district of the state was a total flop. Except some pockets, life was normal throughout the state. Government and private offices, schools, colleges and business establishments remained opened and public transport ferried commuters as usual. Around noon, the party took out several processions and some hooliganism was reported. A few buses were damaged and sit-ins were seen on train tracks. But the party ran out of steam soon and the state party president Dilip Ghosh called off the bandh two hours before schedule.
One hopes the BJP has learnt its lesson from the fiasco. It simply does not have the organizational strength in the state to make a success of a huge political initiative like a bandh. Then, the people of West Bengal have now shed their fears and with the solid backing of the administration, they were in no mood to disturb normal life for an issue they did not connect with. It chose a wrong issue to take on the might of the ruling TMC.
With its limited resources and support, the better way for the BJP would have been to take out rallies and hold street corner meetings in the entire state to highlight the issue and educate the people. The party perhaps thought that the controversy over the appointment of Urdu teachers in a school would appeal to its core Hindutva constituency, who would feel agitated over this. It thought it would colour this as another instance of minority appeasement by Mamata Banerjee. But the bandh was a flop and it seems the party has also lost some admirers.