Amit Shah is learning Bengali ahead of the Assembly Elections in West Bengal in 2021, reports have claimed. He is doing so in order to ensure that Mamata Banerjee and the opposition parties cannot turn ‘Bengali Pride’ into an issue during the polls. Amit Shah was labelled an ‘outsider’ by the West Bengal Chief Minister earlier and it’s a strategy that has been adopted by other regional parties as well. As per reports, Amit Shah has fixed ‘Mission 250’ for the West Bengal elections in 2021.
If reports are to be believed, Amit Shah wants to learn Bengali so that communication doesn’t become an issue going forward. He wishes to address the public in Bengali so that he can establish a better connect with the people. To that end, he has also appointed an experienced teacher.
A senior BJP functionary was quoted by The Sunday Guardian as saying, “The people of Bengal are very emotional about their rich cultural heritage and literature. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been exploiting this sentiment to the hilt. This time, the BJP wants to leave no stones unturned. Therefore, Amit Shah himself has decided to learn Bengali. He is also learning about Bengal’s culture and literature so that he can speak about it during the election campaign in the state.”
“Bengal is culturally rich and Bengali has always been a crucial factor for Bengalis. If our party president converses in Bengali, it will obviously dent the TMC’s attempt to malign the BJP’s image as a party of Hindi speaking people. Moreover, the BJP in West Bengal doesn’t have a prominent Bengali face to lead the party as of now and state elections are fought on local issues. Therefore, the use of the local language by the central leadership will help in convincing people that the BJP is not a party of the Hindi heartland, but a party of our own Bengalis. After all, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee is one of the ideologues of the party,” a BJP leader from West Bengal told The Sunday Guardian.
The BJP has witnessed a remarkable rise in popularity in the state in recent times. In the 2019 General Elections, the party had won 18 seats, an increase of 16 seats from its tally of 2 in 2014. The 2021 Assembly Elections in the state the BJP will believe that it has a very good chance of winning. Shah’s efforts to learn Bangla appears to be part of the BJP’s all-out effort to win the state in 2021.