Union Home Minister Amit Shah carries the adage of Chanakya so far as Indian politics in concerned . He got this tag following his masterminding the BJP’s juggernaut (coming to Power at the Centre) in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls and later on in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.
The media went gaga over his 24X7 working style and his tours across the length and breadth of the country. And when he scripted wins in polls it was attributed to his midas touch and people connect. Shah according to media could no wrong . Interviews to various news channels with anchors sitting in awe and unable to muster the courage to ask the tough questions saw him high on publicity .
But it is not that Shah’s blitz while campaigning and and his rhetoric had wooed the masses as he had expected . In Delhi assembly polls 2020 , Amit Shah spearheaded the campaign with 45 rallies. Over 200 plus MP’s and Chief Minister’s of BJP states , Union Cabinet ministers joined the BJP blitz to woo the people of Delhi but all was in vain.
Now in 2021, The Delhi misadventure was repeated in West Bengal assembly polls. Amit Shah left no stone unturned in his quest for Mission West Bengal. And after holding numerous road shows and even learning bits and pieces Bangla, having lunches at villages to woo the masses, Shah termed a slogan abki bar 200 paar during the election campaign . He was confident and reiterated at every press conference during the 8 phase polls that BJP would get 200 seats and would form the government. He even went on extent that Mamata would have to resign on May 2 as the TMC would lose the polls.
The media too got swayed by Shah’s confidence and rally- turn-outs and believed that he could pull it off in West Bengal. The huge crowd at rallies gave the BJP the confidence , but little did they realise or for that matter knew the silent mind/ or the inner voice of the voters in Bengal.
BJP gave it all to win Mission Bengal and the party fielded half a dozen chief ministers and Union Cabinet ministers, the TMC presented just Banerjee with the slogan ‘Bangla nijer meyekei chay’ (Bengal wants her daughter) and a promise to expand its popular ‘Duare Sarkar’ (government at your doorsteps) programme. Between February and April 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and , Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited West Bengal as many as 38 times. Prime Minister Narendra Modi 17 and Shah 21 . Yet the people of West Bengal gave thumbs down to the BJP
In Delhi 2020, BJP despite Shah’s zeal BJP got get 8 seats in 70 member assembly and now in West Bengal , Though BJP improved from 3 in 2016 to 76, TMC demolished the BJP by improving from its earlier tally of 211 to 214.
BJP might seek solace from the fact that in West Bengal now it has become the principal opposition with the decline of the Left and the Congress . But the fact remains that after having invested so much in the campaign to oust Mamata Banerjee it has failed miserably .
The twin heavy losses in West Bengal and earlier in Delhi has blown away the myth that Shah’s election strategy is invincible and the the media ‘s Chanakya definitely has some chinks in his armour. Street fighter Mamata Banerjee had truly pulled off a spectacular victory leaving Shah much to ponder about what went wrong in his aggressive vitriolic campaign style which in the end proved to be high on rhetoric but low in delivery .