In an extremely confident manner, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, on Wednesday, told the people gathered at the inaugural Republic Summit 2018 that his party will definitely win at least 23 seats in the upcoming General elections 2019 in the state of West Bengal.
Speaking to Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on a array of topics, which began from his party's recent performance in the state elections and ended with a prediction of 2019, Shah opened up about BJP's prospects against Mamata Banerjee.
"As far as Mamata is concerned, we have no problem with her. She is an elected CM from such a big state, we respect her. But if someone destroys the institutions in West Bengal, we will stand strong and fight till the very end. Can you believe, in a democracy like India, a party like BJP isn't being allowed to carry out a Rath Yatra? Permission isn't being granted to hold rallies. PM wanted to go, I wanted to go, Home Minister wanted to go, but they have stopped us. We went to court against it. You can imagine, I rally across the country, but to rally in West Bengal, I have to go to court. Prime Minister is forced to go to court to hold a rally. I believe media should rake up this matter. Are they not going to let a political party campaign?" he said.
The BJP were planning to hold a 42-day Rath Yatra starting December 7 in West Bengal, but it was met with the opposition of the TMC government. State CM Mamata Banerjee had termed it as a 'Raavan yatra', denying them the permission to go ahead with it.
At the summit, Amit Shah further went onto mention that he expects his party to win a minimum of 23 seats out of the 42 in the state in 2019, well more than what they achieved in 2014.
"In every aspect, West Bengal government has failed. Be it in terms of development or the growing mafias, Mamata Banerjee and her party has done everything to ruin the state. We will fight against it. As many as 70 of our workers have been killed, but no one raises their voices. Only we do it. The situation has to change, and you can keep predicting the numbers, but we will not win less than 20 seats in West Bengal. People of the state are ready for a change and because of that fear Mamata is not allowing us to hold rallies," he added.
In the 2014 General elections, BJP-led NDA came out victorious, winning 336 seats and forming the government in the country. But in West Bengal, they only won two seats with a vote share of 18%.