Baying for Bengal: How the BJP is closing in on Mamata Banerjee

Mamata is finding it hard to rely on others, especially when the BJP is aiming slingshots at her and her much-touted claims of honesty.

 |  3-minute read |   09-02-2019
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'Josh', the oft-quoted word from the film Uri: The Surgical Strike, a hot favourite in the BJP lexicon, is what seems to have pumped up the party’s fortunes in West Bengal.

With a little over a month left for the election to be declared, Bengal has got in a hurricane poll campaign mode, courtesy BJP national president Amit Shah’s one point agenda — 'Mission Bengal' and getting 50% of Lok Sabha seats from the state.

Within a fortnight, the state has seen eight to nine BJP national leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath bombarding the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and its chief Mamata Banerjee with back-to-back rallies.

On Saturday, as Modi hurled missiles against the 'triple Ts — Trinamool Congress, Tolabaji (organised extortion) and Tax’ — plaguing Bengal, Singh was preparing to launch an attack against Mamata for allegedly murdering democracy in Bengal.

Mamata is finding it hard to rely on others — especially when the BJP is aiming slingshots at her and her much-touted claims of honesty.

mamata-modi-copy_020819051646.jpegNot so cordial anymore: The fight between PM Modi and CM Banerjee is heating up in West Bengal. (Photo: PTI)

She has already played the card of being a victim of political vengeance; the Centre has apparently let loose agencies against her because she had united the Opposition.

But the sympathy wave seems to be veering towards the saffron party, at least, the groundswell of the BJP rallies in recent times seems to suggest this.

The BJP has become 'victim' personified over the last six months, facing resistance from the TMC government at every point, be it for getting a venue for the rally or to give permission to national leaders for chopper landings at government airbases, to harassment of and attacks on rally-bound supporters.

The suffering of party workers has been writ large in Bengal, ever since the party improved its position and became the ruling TMC’s competitor.

Mamata Banerjee’s use of administrative resources against the BJP has only affirmed the BJP’s propaganda — struck by Modi-phobia, she is 'desperate'. This is visible in the way she has taken on the task of defending herself, her party and her administrative heads, be it on charges of her paintings allegedly being sold to chit-fund owners, her close aide of 40 years being grilled by the CBI or the Kolkata Police commissioner facing a possible interrogation by the central agencies.

On February 3, when the CBI tried to swoop down on the Kolkata Police commissioner’s house to question him, the state police rounded up the investigation team and detained them at a city police station on charges of barging into the top cop’s house.

After this, Mamata dashed to the commissioner’s house, along with a team of top officers of the state administration and the Kolkata mayor, to chalk out future plans.

mamata7_020819052114.jpgShe's taking them on: But Mamata Banerjee’s use of administrative resources against the BJP has in fact affirmed the BJP’s claims. (Photo: PTI)

Mamata sat on a dharna and tried to justify her sit-in as a protest against what she calls Modi-Shah’s attack on the federal structure, democracy and the Constitution.

This was the last “Brahmastra” from her quiver.

By taking to the streets and waging a “Save the Constitution” and “Save the Country” movement, which immediately drew support and solidarity from all national leaders including Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati — the two hurdles on her path to becoming the prime ministerial candidate — she seems to have hijacked the 'Josh' from the BJP’s sail.

Already, Mamata’s supporters have hit the streets and they would in the future too be taking out processions and protest rallies as she, again, plays the victim card to keep the sympathies flowing in her favour.

(Courtesy of Mail Today)

Also read: Swami Ramakrishna: Yogi Adityanath introduces Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal to an icon they never knew they had


Romita Datta Romita Datta

The writer is Associate Editor, India Today.

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