When Mamta Banerjee managed to fend off a spirited challenge by BJP in Bengal and won with a solid majority, the “khela Houwe” comment of hers reverberated a million times in the hearts and minds of those who had placed all hopes in the chants of Amit Shah and believed the BJP would make history in West Bengal come May 2, 2021.
Not only Amit Shah’s frequent proclamations of “didi departing on May 2” during the campaign rallies, but also the “now bland” and “overused” theatrics of Narendra Modi, failed to win the hearts and minds of those residents (perhaps not all legal residents of West Bengal) who would matter in deciding the fate of Mamta Banerjee on one side and some shadow figure in the inner closets of the buffoon BJP strategists.
For one, the ages old mantra “jo dikhta hai wohi bikta” was put on the back burner. The strategists felt – the BJP win was set in stone and the “horse trading” of the “local netas” – between the original loyalists, the new recruits – stars and the new loyalists who had deserted the “TMC sinking ship” come to the BJP – would be done at the time of distributing the “spoils of the victory”. It seems, the arrogant complacency of the “king makers” in the party high command prevailed upon and this poor outcome was allowed to be factored into the TMC calculations.
This will haunt them for a long time to come.
Much to the delightful glee of all those in opposition to the BJP, Didi single handedly managed to kill the BJP chances of ruling the state of West Bengal and bagged a third consecutive term.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal hailed the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC’s electoral triumph in the West Bengal Assembly polls saying it was arrogance, money power and “using Jai Shri Ram for politics” that lost in the state.
“In West Bengal, Who lost: Arrogance, Might, Money power, Using Jai Shri Ram for politics, Divisive agenda & The Election Commission,” Sibal tweeted.
“She stood up to them & WON,” he said, hailing Banerjee.
Almost all politicians were as ecstatic for “stopping the BJP and Modi tide” in West Bengal. The result – the arrogance moved from the BJP to the TMC. Ever since her big win, there have been reports of violence against Hindus in West Bengal. Some TV channels report in as many 3500 villages Hindus have been beaten up, women have been raped and Hinuds have been barred from worshipping their deities in their own “Hindu temples”. Some reports suggest at least 60,000 plus Hindus have sought shelter in neighbouring states while Mamta has been busy defending her minister caught in a sting operation and now the subject of CBI inquiry and High Court orders.
All etiquette and decency has been thrown out of the window. The state governor Jagdeep Dhankhad has been called BJP dog for visiting those shelter homes looking after Hindus from West Bengal, refugees in their own country.
The standard of politics has seen new lows in this centre state fight involving Mamta and Modi. One TMC politician has labelled BJP rule in India as “foreign, non-India occupation” and said – the day India gets rid of Modi in 2024 (elections) – Indians will enjoy their second independence.
The situation in the state is so bad that 146 highly distinguished and accomplished Indians – including judges, ambassadors and DGs of police have written to the President of India for intervention. There are PILs in the Supreme Court of India seeking intervention of the apex court to come to the aid of innocent people of the state caught in this power struggle.
Dr Mukesh Garg, an Indian Australian who hails from Kolkata West Bengal, has been watching the developments in his home state very closely. An avid BJP supporter and a fan of Narendra Modi, speakjing to Bharat Times, Dr Garg says the 2021 election loss in West Bengal polls, is actually a big win for the BJP – having moved up from 3 to 77 seats in the state assembly. He is not only hopefully of Modi winning another term in 2024, he is almost certain of thew BJP forming government in West Bengal come 2026. Listen to the full interview here:
Mamta Banerjee is least bit bothered that she is not even member of the assembly because she lost by about 1626 votes to her former colleague Suvendu Adhikari. According to the Indian constitution, Mamta needs to elect herself to the house within six months of taking oath of office. The other option for such politicians is the nomination to the upper house of the assembly, the path adopted by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Her problem is that in West Bengal, the house is not bicameral, it only has assembly and no council. At present only six states in India have bicameral legislatures. The states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka — all have an Assembly and a Legislative Council.
Realising the election win may not be what it seems and she may struggle to win an assembly seat without a blood bath, she has started the process of engineering the establishment of the upper house in the state. The problem for Mamta is to convince the Centre and getting the Modi government to agree on it. Because in addition to the state of West Bengal (which has passed the bill to initiate the process), the Centre also has to pilot a Bill in the parliament and get it through.
Given the current loggerheads in the centre-state relationship, the appetite for power of Mamta Banerjee coupled with total disregard for due process has a very long fruition time, to the nightmare of many innocent Indians.