Sunday, 17 November 2019

Strange Bedfellows

Updated: May 29, 2015 11:14 pm

It’s been proved again that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics. The fiery, temperamental Mamta Bannerji seemed to have gone through metamorphosis. When sharing the dais with Narendra Modi for a meeting in Kolkata, both Modi and Didi could be seen talking animatedly as if two friends were meeting after a long time. No tension was apparent. Only camaraderie. One had to pinch oneself to make sure one was not daydreaming. No one would have believed that the same ebullient Mamta Didi had threatened to throw Modi in jail if he dared land on the soil of West Bengal and Modi’s Party President Amit Shah while in Kolkata had said that he had come to Kolkata to throw her government in the Hooghly.

It was indeed war between two belligerent combatants. But then one heard Modi was flying to Kolkata to address a public meeting. In second instalment report came that Mamata Bannerji would share dais with Modi. Then we heard that the two would have a one-to-one meeting. How did all this happen? From foes to be friends or at least back to talking terms. Various speculations are doing the rounds. The most credible one is that Modi, a pragmatic politician was keen to muster as many non-BJP groups as possible to support his reform bills in the Rajya Sabha. He did not mind when the opportunity came to open a direct line of communication with Didi. He has a tump card with him. Apart from the fact that the BJP has made deep inroads in the TMC controlled rural areas, a huge loan and fiscal deficit spells danger to her Government. Moreover, a TMC insider said that Didi, fighting battle with the Commies and Congress and BJP apart from saboteurs within, is not only stressed but tired. She is not able to focus on administration and that is bad for law and order. This could be true because at their meeting, it is said Mamata Bannerji pressed Modi for waiver of loans. After the recent bon- homie it is significant that both sides have been holding fire. If the two combine, politics at the Centre will change drastically. Congress will suffer the most.

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