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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Bengal on Blaze


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The election season of 2021 in India is at its peak as the nation sees 5 state assemblies’ elections i.e., of West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry during the months of summer this year.

The way the dates are coming closer, the more the heat of the elections could be felt, and that too so much that it could even burn the parties on both sides in its flames to win.

Where the assembly elections are to be held in 5 different states, the talk of the town as of now is the West Bengal Elections where parties contesting elections are many, but it seems that the fight is on between the two big opponents of times i.e Trinamool Congress TMC vs Bharatiya Janata Party BJP.

Where Bengal has seen the reign of CM Mamata Banerjee for 10 years people of Bengal are now shouting out for ‘poriborton’!! with reasons many on their side to vote for someone new who can come with a change and can move forward the stopped life of Bengal over these many years.

TMC in Bengal has its influence over the minds of people but as some reasons of Appeasement politics, Flawed health system under the government in power, Unemployment as one major issue for the youth of Bengal, Corruption and Cut money as a leading issue of all those in que, education for children, denial to all the reliefs that the central government has availed for the Bengali people, TMC this time is found under much pressure to build up the fallen image in the minds of people of Bengal.

When in 2019 Lok Sabha Assembly elections TMC lead by 60,000, this time it feels that CM Mamata Benerjee is under constant heat of proving herself back again as the mood on the ground seems to be waving towards the other side.  As the news flows in now and then, the killings of BJP karyakartas working on the ground to make party and party heads a good vote sweeper, TMC is all said to be mudded with the stains of brutal killings of 130 BJP karyakartas.

It is said these days that Politics in Bengal is a politics where violence is a norm.

Where both the parties TMC and BJP are all busy rallying, each corner of Bengal to see an immense victory of their party, the leaders are seen somewhere to be playing different cards to get the votes in their bank. As said earlier, the battlefield of Bengal is seeing multiple players – BJP, TMC, CONGRESS in alliance with ISF (Indian Secular Front), AIMIM, CPM, and GJM, the focus of the nation is on the match of BJP Vs TMC. and the CM Mamata herself is seen using ‘Pride Card’ for Bengal politics where the epitomes of wisdom like Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose are dragged into politics by both the parties to snatch the votes to their scoreboard on May 2, 2021.

The left party that is Congress is seen to be shaking hands with the ‘Bhaijaan’ of politics namely Abbas Siddiqui and trying to mix religion with politics despite the name of the party being the Indian Secular Front. Appeasement politics seem to be the main agenda of this alliance in this historic Bengal election of 2021.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee plays the ‘Insider Vs Outsider’ contest alleging the BJP to be a party of Outsiders and saying they have nothing to do with the politics of Bengal.

As the rallies of both the parties seem to be all on fire to make people love and support their manifestos respectively, the leaders of the parties are all set to go with the flow letting each other down in all senses.

From a vigorous push to roll out the Citizenship Amendment Act to relentless attacks on the ruling TMC government over its alleged “minority appeasement” and political violence — the BJP seems to have put in place a meticulously prearranged election strategy months in advance. However, for the saffron party, which has had a limited presence in the state for decades, Bengal holds paramount importance since it is the missing link for its domination of the east and the northeast.

With the slope down of many enormous balls of TMC into the court of BJP, CM Mamata Banerjee seems to be ruffled to do various unimagined things to catch the spotlight. With her so-called ‘Right hand’ of politics like Shubhendu Adhikari leaving TMC n joining the BJP fold, followed by many TMC leaders like Rajeeb Banerjee, Mihir Goswami, Saumitra Khan, Anupam Hazra, Mukul Roy – the Mamata Banerjee’s so-called ‘Second in command’ and Lieutenant (in 2017), Dinesh Trivedi and many other, TMC witnesses its worst political journey so far.

Besides, the party, which has roped in political strategist Prashant Kishor to fine-tune its campaign, has been intensifying development works by the Mamata Banerjee government.

The BJP popped up a surprise by increasing its tally from 2 seats to 18 in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. To check the saffron tide, the TMC has gone on an overdrive in announcing new schemes besides making sure that its previous welfare programs stay fresh on the minds of the people.

To restore the impressions on the minds of Bengali people, the TMC goes on rebuilding the “Swastha Sathi” scheme to strike a chord among citizens, with lakhs standing in serpentine que to enroll themselves in the program that will enable the insurance holder and his family to avail of treatment up to Rs 5 lakh. The decision came amid BJP’s charge that the TMC government was depriving the people of the state by not implementing the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The party has also launched the “Duare Sarkar” (government at doorstep) outreach program, which will ensure people receive the benefits of 11 state-run welfare schemes.

The BJP’s recent rise in Bengal can be weighed from these numbers: In the 2011 Assembly elections, BJP garnered only 4.06% votes and failed to open its account while in 2016, it won only 3 seats. Its vote share jumped to 10.16%. It must be noted that the 2016 Assembly poll was held two years after the BJP stormed to power in the Centre on the back of a “Modi wave”.

The BJP, which had won 2 seats five years ago, won 18 of the 42 constituencies, seeing its vote share rise to 40.64%, just 3% less than the TMC’s, and bagging seats from North Bengal to Jangalmahal. Analysis showed that the votes came principally from Adivasis, backward castes, and Dalits.

TMC has a strong support base among the minorities in Bengal, who make up 27% of the total population. With talks around CAA and NRC resurfacing in recent days, courtesy BJP leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya and party chief JP Nadda, the minority vote is likely to rally behind Banerjee even though Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM may turn to play spoilsport for the TMC. To counter the Hindutva narrative, Mamata Banerjee has given stipends to purohits in crematoriums.

The BJP, of course, has a weak spot: lack of a chief ministerial face. Party leaders have hinted that it will again rely on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma to counter Mamata Banerjee’s popular appeal, which seems to have remained intact despite Saradha and Narada corruption scams rocking the TMC boat.

The saffron party has made the political violence allegedly instigated by TMC against its workers an election issue, coining slogans like “Ebar Bangla, parle shamla” (Save Bengal if you can this time).

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh has claimed that “over 120 party activists had been killed by TMC-sheltered goons” in the state in recent times.

As the heat of the flames of West Bengal elections is touching each party contesting it, the major event to witness is one who will victor through this hottest fire of 2021!


[author title=”Shreya Gohel” image=”http://localhost/gc2/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210127_014031.jpg”]Intern, Goa Chronicle[/author]
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