Poll strategist Prashant Kishor (File photo)
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor (File photo)

Prashant Kishor's leaked audio chat increases political temperature in Bengal, TMC hits out at BJP

ANI | Updated: Apr 10, 2021 18:32 IST

New Delhi [India], April 10 (ANI): A leaked clubhouse chat of Trinamool Congress election strategist Prashant Kishor created a political furore as the West Bengal went for the fourth phase of assembly polls on Saturday.
Kishor said in the leaked audio that the Trinamool Congress was facing "anti-incumbency" and "anger" and that BJP had a good presence of workers in almost the entire state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "equally popular".
He said in their internal surveys also "BJP comes predominantly" as the winning party in Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress reacted sharply to the release of clubhouse chat by BJP leader Amit Malviya and said it was part of "the mind game" by the BJP to create a wave in its favour in the assembly polls.
Party leader Dola Sen said the complete audiotape and not partial audiotape should be released.
On his part, Kishor also asked the BJP to "show courage and show the full chat instead of getting excited with selective use".
He said the BJP will not cross 100 seats in the assembly polls.
"I am glad BJP is taking my chat more seriously than words of their own leaders! They should show courage & share the full chat instead of getting excited with selective use of parts of it. I have said this before & repeating again - BJP will not CROSS 100 in WB. Period," Kishor said in a tweet.
In leaked audio Kishor can be heard listing an array of factors for the BJP to have ng gained ground in Bengal and said a majority of Left supporters were also voting for BJP.
Kishor said they do a survey that whom will you vote for and who is forming the government. "Who is forming a government, BJP comes predominantly in our survey also. We sought reasons. This is because those voting for the BJP are doing so as they say the party is forming a government. Of the 10 to 15 per cent people who support Left, two-thirds of them think that BJP is forming the government. Left supporter thinks that Mamata should lose. This is a matter of perception. The substantive issue on the ground is that those who had not come to Bengal earlier thought BJP does not have a worker on the ground. This is not true. BJP has a lot of workers on the ground and they might have been imported from the Left but today they are dedicatedly working for BJP. If we leave one or two districts, there are no other areas where BJP does not have a very strong cadre," he said.
He said that "50 to 55 per cent Hindus are voting for BJP".
Kishor said PM Modi is popular in Bengal.
"If there is a vote, it is in the name of Modi. If there is a vote, it is for being Hindu. Polarisation, Modi, Hindi speakers, SC are factors. Suvendu left (Trinamool Congress) or Prashant Kishor came, these are not factors. Modi is popular. There are over one crore Hindi speakers. There are 27 per cent Dalits, they are totally with BJP, plus there is polarization" he said.
He said the Matua community will be predominantly voting for BJP. "Not as unitedly as they did in Lok Sabha polls. I feel they will vote 75 per cent for BJP and 25 per cent for Trinamool Congress," he said.
Kishor also said that people were coming in large numbers to rallies of the Prime Minister who has acquired a "cult" in the country.
Kishor said there is no anti-incumbency against PM Modi. "10-15-20-25 per cent people see God in him. Whether it is right or wrong, that is a different debate. He has acquired a cult in the country. The Hindi speaking people are the core support base of BJP in Bengal. There is anti-incumbency against state government, not the Centre. Modi is quite popular here. We are doing surveys. Modi and Mamata are equally popular in Bengal which is a very big thing," Kishor said.
He also indicated that the people of Bengal were striving for a change.
"People of Bengal have not seen the rule of BJP so far, they have not tasted it and they are wanting to do it. People are coming to rallies, there is popularity of Modi and mobilization. There is anger against Trinamool Congress. That is a factor. Polarisation is a factor. The anti-incumbency against Trinamool that has opened the doors for BJP, their ability to polarize and SC votes," he said.
He said a major problem was that for 20 years "everything has been done to appease the minorities" and added that there had been a feeling that the government will be formed by a party that gets the support of Muslims. Noting that Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left had been part of this ecosystem, Kishor said for the first time Hindus are feeling that "somebody is caring for them". "There is some element that BJP is exploiting and that is coming from blatant misuse of minority politics by some of these parties," he said.
Malviya also tweeted about Kishor's clubhouse chat and said the poll strategist had conceded that BJP is winning even in TMC's internal surveys.
"In a public chat on Club House, Mamata Banerjee's election strategist concedes that even in TMC's internal surveys, BJP is winning. The vote is for Modi, polarisation is a reality, the SCs (27% of WB's population), Matuas are all voting for the BJP! BJP has a cadre on the ground. Another candid admission by Mamata Banerjee's election strategist - all that the Left, Congress and TMC ecosystem have done in the last 20 years is Muslim appeasement. Implication? It has resulted in resentment on the ground. The speakers had not realised that the chat was public!" Malviya said.
Dola Sen said Kishor had again said in his tweet that BJP will not cross 100 seats in Bengal.
"The BJP friends have been circulating the partial audiotape since Saturday morning. The complete audiotape including all questions and answers should be released not the edited and partial version."
"He (Prashant Kishor), whose audiotape BJP has been circulating himself answered everything through his tweet. He reiterated in his tweet that BJP will not get 100 seats in Bengal. BJP understood that Mamata Banerjee will be again the chief minister of West Bengal. This is the strategy to play the mind games and create a wave of BJP amid the ongoing polls," she said.
BJP MP from Cooch Behar Nisith Pramanik said Kishor has put "the nail in the coffin after finishing TMC".
"Narendra Modiji is famous throughout the world. Prashant Kishor has done the work of putting the last nail in the coffin after finishing TMC," he said.
Another BJP MP and party candidate from Chunchura Assembly seat Locket Chatterjee said Prashant Kishor "also knows that Modiji is the best and a 'sonar Bangla' will be made under his leadership".
"But to fool the people he got associated with TMC," she said.
BJP leader Rajib Banerjee who is contesting from the Domjur constituency in Howrah said Kishor's strategy has failed in West Bengal.
"Prashant Kishor's strategy will not work in Bengal. His strategy has failed. TMC has finished here. In Bengal, only Narendra Modi's strategy will work," Rajib told ANI.
Kishor was roped in by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021.
Kisor had in December last said BJP will struggle to cross double digits in Bengal and he would quit Twitter if results were different.
"For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in #WestBengal PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space," he had said.
He has been appointed as the Principal Advisor by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ahead of the assembly polls in the state next year. (ANI)