KOLKATA: About half of the 77 seats won by the BJP in West Bengal were reserved for Dalits, including members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The state has 84 seats reserved for SC and ST candidates.
The saffron camp has won 38 of these seats. Among the SC/ST seats won by the BJP, 18 are in north Bengal, where the party has made deep inroads since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In all, the BJP won 31 seats reserved for the SCs and seven seats reserved for the STs.
Many of the seats are dominates by the Matuas, a Hindu religious sect comprising people who had immigrated from Bangladesh. They have been promised Indian citizenship by the BJP-led Central government through the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has strongly opposed the CAA.
The saffron camp has also managed to retain its Dalit vote-bank in north Bengal regions where the Rajbanshi community forms a considerable chunk of the electorate. The Dalits, however, in Junglemahal voted against the saffron camp. The BJP won only in three constituencies out of 12 seats reserved for Dalits in Junglemahal.