BJP’s Increasing Hold Makes Mamata Desperate
The recent attacks on Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Birbhum and Parui are what can be taken as the examples of stopping the growing influence of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state by the Trinamool Congress
The growing influence of Bharatiya Janata Party in Bengal and the wave of Narendra Modi, working beyond the boundaries of the country, are no doubt giving political stalwarts in the country sleepless nights. Once imperceptible in West Bengal, people of the state too are embracing Bharatiya Janata Party and this is what may be the reason of fear of losing the political space in Bengal to Bharatiya Janata Party, Mamata Banerjee is ready to join hands with her opponents, even the Left parties.
In an open outburst at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party -led government at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called for a ‘secular front’ to take on ‘communal forces’ and she went on to even say that she is willing to join hands with rivals in the Left if the Congress takes charge for such a coalition “for the greater interest of the country, for the peaceful situation of the country, for the stability of the country”. “I will be with them, I have ideological differences in the state with the Left but that should not come in the way of fighting communal forces because secularism is the bedrock of India. I will go to any extent to protect secularism even if my life is required,” Mamata Banerjee said at the Congress party’s programme to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress party is engaged in bitter clashes with the Bharatiya Janata Party, as the latter is making political inroads into the state. It is also important to note here that the clashes between Left parties and TMC in the state have gone down, while, on the other hand, the clashes between Bharatiya Janata Party and TMC have grown up significantly within last few months. The recent attacks on Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Birbhum and Parui are what can be taken as the examples of stopping the growing influence of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state by the Trinamool Congress.
In the general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party won two parliamentary seats from West Bengal, while it made a historic entry into the state Assembly by winning a seat during the by-elections in the state. After these political developments, Mamata is feeling the heat from Bharatiya Janata Party. Although, Mamata Banerjee has pitched for a national anti-communal coalition, her statements could also be seen in the context of state politics, as West Bengal is due for polls in 2016 and the Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah is already focussed on the state that she has been ruling since she overthrew the Left Front government in 2011.
“I had floated the idea of a federal front before the Lok Sabha elections. That did not work out probably because everybody was too busy then with the elections. Had it happened then Bharatiya Janata Party would never have come to power. Look at what a small percentage of votes they had got in the Lok Sabha and now also in Maharashtra,” Mamata Banerjee said in Delhi. All these words coming out of Mamata Banerjee’s mouth reflect her fear of losing her political grip on Bengal and growing acceptance of the national party in the state.
Although, in response to Mamata’s offer, the CPIM has set aside any prospect of alliance with Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress. Accusing Trinamool Congress of bringing communal forces into Bengal, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, during his recent visit to Kolkata, that TMC, which brought the danger of communalism into the state, is now talking of fighting against it. “If communal forces came to the state, what is the reason? TMC gave it the opportunity to come. TMC has made alliances (with it). That is why the danger of communalism has spread into the state. TMC, which has brought the danger, is now talking of fighting against it,” he added.
On being asked whether the Left parties will go with the Congress Party to stop the growing influence of Bharatiya Janata Party, Sitaram Yechury said: “There is no possibility of going with the Congress to stop communal forces.” He further said that the Left had played a big role in maintaining secularism and communal harmony in the state. On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party described West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s act of sharing dais with Sonia Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury as desperation to save her political space.
“Mamata Banerjee sharing stage with CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who was Trinamool’s number one enemy, and the Congress leadership, is nothing but a desperation on part of Banerjee to save her fast depleting political space in Bengal. But no political alliance can stop the Bharatiya Janata Party from making Bengal free from the Trinamool Congress’s ‘misrule’ by 2016,” said Bharatiya Janata Party’s national secretary and also the In-charge of West Bengal, Siddharth Nath Singh.
“As the idea of making India Congress-free by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been fulfilled, the idea of making Bengal Trinamool-free will also be fulfilled. All these political parties coming together under the garb of 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru is nothing but a desperate attempt to save their own political space and identity,” Siddharth Nath Singh affirmed and added:“On a larger canvas, she is witnessing the state secretariat having a Chief Minister from Bharatiya Janata Party after 2016.”
Bharatiya Janata Party state president Rahul Sinha too criticised Banerjee for sharing the dais with Left and Congress leaders. Rahul Sinha said: “I had told two months back that the TMC will beg before CPI(M) and the Congress to forge an alliance to save its own political identity. But it’s too late, the people of Bengal have decided and they are with us.”
This is a clear indication that the time of regional parties in deciding the fate of the country is over for now. The Congress party, which has ruled the country for nearly seven decades, has succumbed to the level of extinction with a handful representation in the Parliament and, on the other hand, the growing influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Modi wave have started putting the political stalwarts’ careers at stake. Now after Haryana and Maharashtra election results, which have proved that the Bharatiya Janata Party has been successful in bringing the people of the states and the regions too into its fold, the regional parties are restless and desperate to save their political space and maybe Mamata is one among them.
By Joydeep Dsgupta from Kolkata