A message for Bengal in PM’s speech to mark Bihar victory?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday – during his speech to mark the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance in Bihar – perhaps made a reference to West Bengal where Assembly elections are scheduled in 2021. He did not name the state, nor the chief minister Mamata Banerjee though.

PM Modi said, “the killing of BJP workers is not acceptable in a democracy”, and those responsible will be punished by the people. It is being assumed that Modi had West Bengal in mind as the BJP in Bengal has been alleging that its workers are being murdered. Modi was speaking at the BJP office in Delhi for a celebration to mark the win of the National Democratic Alliance with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United in Bihar.

He said that elections may come and go, and those in power today may not be in power the next day, “but playing with death can’t give you a mandate”, he said. Modi added that “Some people are murdering our workers, and they think killing BJP workers can make them achieve their goals. I don’t want to warn them because in a democracy the people will speak.”

After Bihar, the BJP’s next big target is West Bengal, where Assembly elections are scheduled in 2021. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won 18 out of the 42 seats and intends to wrest power from the ruling Trinamool Congress in the Assembly polls. During the recent visit to the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked the BJP leaders of Bengal to set a target of winning 200 out of the 294 seats in West Bengal.

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