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Mamata, Naveen would be no challenge to BJP in next elections: Amit Shah

Mamata, Naveen would be  no challenge to BJP in next elections: Amit Shah

New Delhi, Sept 13 (UNI) BJP president Amit Shah today described West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik as non-performers who can’t pose any challenge to the party in the next elections. Mr Shah also said that Ms Banerjee was a master in rigging elections. ‘’ If at all, there have to be challengers, they have to be performance-based and I don’t think Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee pose a challenge to the BJP,’’ Mr Shah said in an interview to CNN News 18 TV channel. The states they rule were still two of the most backward states in the country, he said. ‘’ Also, I’m seeing anti-incumbency in both states, which is favorable to the principal opposition,’’ Mr Shah added. On denial of permission for a BJP event in Kolkata, he said not giving permission to the Opposition or not letting them speak at events might be her habit, but such acts don’t work. ‘’Starting from Indira Gandhi, many leaders have tried to suppress voices but it has not happened. I will go to Bengal for sure and conduct an event,’’ he said Asked whether the BJP would be projecting a face in the two states, the BJP chief said the party’s strategy and the face for these two states would be decided when the elections would come closer. On the BJP’s weaknesses in the two states, Mr Shah said that they had overcome lot of shortcomings. ‘’ If you look back at the previous polls, BJP has been at third or fourth position. Now, in both states, it is the principal opposition. Also, I’m seeing anti-incumbency in both states, which is favorable to the principal opposition,’’ he said. Mr Shah said there had been a growth in the BJP’s base in West Bengal. ‘’That’s a big development, brushing aside the TMC and Congress. And also, let’s not forget how elections are conducted there — there’s so much rigging. Mamata has left behind the Communists in terms of rigging the elections,’’ he said. More UNI NAZ ADG 2109

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