Life has come a full circle for Mamata Banerjee. She was saved from political oblivion by the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee but today a BJP prime minister is out to annihilate her politically. Pranab Mukherjee called her a born rebel who “has an aura about her which is difficult to explain but impossible to ignore”. He gave her the credit for building her own career – “fearlessly and aggressively – and what she is today is the outcome of her own struggle, labour and hard work”. But now in the battle for Bengal, which is an acid test of BJP- RSS’s Machiavellian game plan, she has put her trust in the non-politician Prashant Kishor. People elect the government they want.
Fearless aggressiveness proved a boon for Mamata’s political ascendance at a time when the Bengal voters had grown sick of Communist bullies. But sadly there was no end to the exploitation of Ma, Maati and Manush, as is evident from Mamata’s call to her party men to return “cut money”. Many communists cleverly changed from red to saffron and are now piggyback riding Narendra Modi for revenge. Even many of her own “cut money” goons have jumped the ship and some say it’s because Amit Shah made them an offer they could not refuse. Like all autocrats, nobody around her could tell her about the grave she was digging for herself. The media further inflated her ego by projecting her as a prime minister prospect. Three other media-projected PM candidates – Nitish Kumar., K Chandrashekhar Rao and Arvind Kejriwal – have had their comeuppance and now Modi has come to put her in her place. Unlike Kejriwal, she has played the “Muslim card” which suits BJP and is a double-edged sword. She should have trusted anti-Modi voters of being intelligent enough to vote for the strongest candidate to defeat BJP. Here she slipped, despite having the same advisor as Kejriwal, and exposed her jitteriness by asking them not to vote for Congress-Left-ISF alliance. Didi like Kejriwal enjoys the benefit of BJP lacking a CM face, but has allowed BJP to set the political agenda by being reactive rather than proactive. She seems to have been scared by RJD-Congress losing Bihar by a whisker as the Muslims fell for the vote-katva Owaisi. The AAP supremo aka Chhota Modi has smartly beaten Modi-Shah at their own game in Delhi and become a darling as well as tool of RSS in its Congress-mukt Bharat abhiyan by choosing to raid BJP’s vote bank and leaving the anti-BJP electorate to decide for itself. His silence on anti-CAA protests and Goli Maro [email protected]**n ko gang proved to be golden. In Bengal too, BJP may be hoisted on its own petard, little realising that for the last ten years Mamata Banerjee is not in the driving seat only on the basis of Muslim votes.
The eight phases of polling in Bengal are turning into a political halal for one of the contenders. The shrillness of the cries will keep increasing and on May 2 we will have a sore loser. It is patently noticeable that in Modi-Shah reign, BJP has repeatedly failed to get re-elected in all the states like Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka and had to resort to underhand tactics to form the government by luring enticing and admitting MLAs of Congress. Operation Kamal came a cropper in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. In Assam and Bengal the duo has decided to misuse the state power and money power before election itself. The Modi-Shah duo has been having its nose rubbed in the dirt time and again since 2019 by the likes of Soren, Uddhav and Kejriwal and losing to Mamata in the land of Syama Prasad Mukherjee is a setback they cannot afford in their fight for dominance with the RSS, especially after Modi forced the parent organisation to replace the number two with his puppet..
It has been noticed that for more than a quarter of a century BJP is following the policy of slowly and gradually poisoning the electoral atmosphere by trying to exclude the minorities from the mainstream of Indian democracy. At this stage nationalist forces with a broader outlook of the democratic ethos have to come forward and take a step to let the minorities feel that they are also part of the Indian Awam and not unwanted aliens. Campaign speeches of BJP leaders in general and Modi in particular across all the states are focused on misleading the Hindus and creating religious polarisation by claiming that all non-Hindus don’t vote for BJP. This exposes duplicity of Modi who often boasts that he yearns for Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas.
The irony is that Modi and BJP mock Indian communists but Putin and Jingping are their role models. In Narendra Modi’s Electoral Autocracy, regional satraps will either have to learn to be sidekicks like Nitish Kumar or be ready for non-stop attacks and expect no mercy from at least three of the estates like Uddhav Thackeray. Mamata Banerjee’s many mistakes include turning a blind eye to corruption, not standing with the secular forces led by Congress in the fight against the RSS-BJP Parivar, mistakenly thinking that her fortress was secure and she could expand beyond Bengal as Modi studiously carved a Congress-mukt Bharat. Now standing on the brink, Mamata writing to Sonia Gandhi for help makes seem it that Didi has realised that secular nationalist forces can rally only around Indian National Congress. MK Stalin too has urged Rahul Gandhi to stitch a national alliance against Modi-led divisive forces. The biggest threat to the followers of Gandhian principles of nationhood and society are the Godse-bhakts who have infiltrated the various constitutional agencies and the four estates. They manipulate the law to force convert India into one big Shakha and browbeat the meek into becoming sevaks of the parivar. The battle for Bengal is just an episode in the war for saving the soul of Indian democracy. It is once again a grim reminder to the regional parties which have at some point or the other allied with RSS-BJP and exulted at the decimation of the Congress, that khela shesh is what the Parivar plans for them. People get the government they deserve.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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