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BJP in 1998 Lok Sabha Elections in West Bengal-Transformation of Opposition Politics

Transformation of Opposition Politics Michael Gillan The BJP campaign in West Bengal reflects the national strategy developed by the BJP to break its political isolation and form important regional alliances throughout India. The basis for these alliances, as in the example of West Bengal, has been to form regional ties with state opposition political formations whose primary concern is the defeat of particular ruling parties at the state level In order to facilitate its alliance strategy, the BJP has been forced to adopt a political style which is as accommodating as possible for an avowedly 'ideological' party. Whether the particular regional alliance between the Trinamul and the BJP in West Bengal can be maintained is perhaps secondary to the short-term efficacy of the alliance in allowing the state unit of the party to gain an electoral foothold in the state for the first time. Nevertheless. given the highly third opposition vote, shifting between opposition formations within the state on the basis of their perceived viability as an opposition force, the relation between the BJP and the Trinamul leaderships is one characterised by considerable rivalry, as both parties attempt to place themselves at the forefront of opposition politics.

 

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