Sounds Oxymoron – As much as Bengal wants Hindutva it wants an Independent leader like Mamata

In Bengal elections, BJP has the upper hand in Hindutva and Mamata has the upper hand in leadership

In Bengal elections, BJP has the upper hand in Hindutva and Mamata has the upper hand in leadership
In Bengal elections, BJP has the upper hand in Hindutva and Mamata has the upper hand in leadership

People of Bengal wants change in policies and governance

The 2021 Assembly elections for West Bengal is considered the most-watched amongst all the elections, the reason behind this is primarily because of the stupendous growth of BJP’s vote share that was observed in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

For the first time ever the so-called saffron party has emerged as the challenging force to a one-woman ruling party of Ms Mamata Banerjee. Although BJP’s predecessor, the Jan Sangh, had its founder S P Mukherjee hailing from Bengal, neither did Jan Sangh nor the BJP make any impact till the 2019 elections.

The emergence of the BJP, the collapse of the Left and Congress and the appeasement policies of the Mamata government along with the total failure of law and order has resulted in a national level attention grab for this election.

The change that they want is Hindutva in governance and a strong leader who can stand for himself/ herself not budging to the Central government or being an extended arm to the Central government.

Mamata’s 10-year rule has been good and bad in many aspects but this election she will have to face the public for all the bad aspects.

The one with which she wanted to come to power and the one with which she came to power, is the same thing that is now against her, “Paribartan” i.e. Change.

Yes, the People of Bengal want to change, but the observation is that the change is not leadership change (like in 2011 against the Left) but the change in policies and governance.

The change that they want is Hindutva in governance and a strong leader who can stand for himself/ herself not budging to the Central government or being an extended arm to the Central government.

The reason why Bengal prefers a leader with an independent opinion can be attributed to the high literacy rate and historically high concentration of intellectual & independent minds like Ramohan Roy, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Tagore etc, from Bengal.

The electorate of Bengal has a tough choice because they are in a situation where the reasons for change are in conflict with each other. On one side they want Hindutva in governance and on the other side they want an independent leader. The BJP has the upper hand in Hindutva and Mamata has the upper hand in leadership.

The main reason why Bengal wants Hindutva is that they want restoration of the demographic shifts that have occurred due to illegal Bangladeshi Muslims. The porous borders in Bengal coupled with state help have made a total mess to the demographics in the border districts such as Malda, Murshidabad etc.

The TMC knows that Mamata has come to the CM chair through a tough fight throughout her career.

Demographic distortions due to illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigration over the past 3 decades are estimated that there are over two crore illegal Bangladeshi Muslims are staying over in India.

Currently not just TMC (Trinamool Congress) even the Bengali Hindus have seen from election experience that the Muslim population is very good as a vote bank in general and they already know that TMC is heavily relying on them to stay relevant in politics. This educated mind of the Bengal Hindu electorate has jittered Mamata in her home turf.

The TMC knows that Mamata has come to the CM chair through a tough fight throughout her career. She has single-handedly wiped out the Left party from the state of West Bengal despite all the violence unleashed by the Left. During those violent days, BJP was nowhere and was mute. It was a grand one-woman success of Mamata to uproot Left hegemony in Bengal.

Today, Mamata and her party are being accused by the BJP of the same thing which once she accused the Left when she was in opposition i.e. appeasing the Bangladeshi Muslims and changing the demographics of Bengal. History tells that Mamata came to national sensation since she went against the Left parties’ policy of being soft on illegal Muslim immigration from Bangladesh.

Given the circumstances, the rising star in Bengal is undoubtedly BJP but only time will tell if they have fought against Mamata for power or for a larger good i.e. Hindutva in governance.

Right now the Bengal campaign is not on a level playing field, It is not a one vs one battle but one vs the entire Central government.

On one side Mamata leading the TMC campaign and on the other side we have the entire Sangh Parivar logistics plus RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) plus BJP plus the Union Cabinet pitched against her. The public sympathy might come in favour of Mamata as people might view it as a targeted power-hungry campaign by BJP (with disgruntled ex-TMC ex-Left members) against a lone Bengali woman.

The best bet for BJP against Mamata is Smriti Irani, If the BJP pulls all its Cabinet out of the campaign and just deploys Smriti Irani, who has Bengali roots, people will consider it as a good one on one fight. It will fulfil their requirement of a Hindutva in governance and an independent leader. BJP can even pull off a thriller, but only time will tell whether they have such plans.

Right now BJP has done blunders in Bengal. It inducted so many disgruntled MPs and MLAs who were part of TMC and the Left, In fact, the local face of the BJP campaign Mithun Chakraborty himself was a Naxal sympathizer in the past and has no ideological roots in Hindutva. He in fact was the lead actor of the movie titled Naxalites.

Even in ticket distribution, BJP has done a mess, so many party cadres were disappointed as tickets were given to defected MLAs from TMC and those who joined the party just 6 months before the election (basically they are not from the Hindutva roots). The effects were visible during Home Minister Amit Shah’s big rally in Jhagram where the maidan was glaringly empty.

Mamata knows that although BJP has the pulse through Hindutva, its lack of leadership and simplistic approach in election strategy will pave way for her despite odds.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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