19 May 2021
The ruling NDA dispensation at the Centre is simply not able to digest the stark reality that one lady on wheel chair, single-handedly made it bite the dust in the historic electoral battle of Bengal. She shattered its dreams of snatching power from her, even after using all government machinery including the paid media. The bitter taste of the ignominy has made all the invincible and arrogant generals, who considered themselves invincible, see stars. They had hired a very credible professional survey company, that had predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP. But the prediction has proved totally wrong. May be the survey company presented to them a rosy picture (based on trumped up data) of what they wanted (Mokambo Khush Hai) and walked away with a fat sum!
Having miserably failed in the electoral battle, the Centre is now resorting to vindictive politics to capture power through the backdoor, by using the Bengal Governor Dhankar to create a dhamakalike law-and-order situation to get President's rule imposed in Bengal, blatantly defying the mandate of the Aam Aadmi of Bengal. Let us see who wins in this unfair battle. Will the tigress of Bengal pushed to the wall roar in her full glory and thwart Namo-Nadda-Shah juggernaut? Isaac Gomes, Associate Editor, Church Citizens' Voice.
Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s aggressive posturing and the CBI’s move to arrest state ministers is being defended in the BJP circles as a desperate move to protect the party’s base after the drubbing in the Assembly polls.
Party insiders claimed the leadership doesn’t want to give out the message that they have given up on “Mission Bengal”, demoralised after the electorate thwarted the BJP’s high-decibel effort to wrest the key state.
The sudden arrest of two of Mamata Banerjee’s ministers by the CBI on Monday has appeared to be the worst kind of vendetta politics, weeks after the ruling party at the Centre had decisively lost the state polls.
The arrests have followed an aggressive attack by the Centre’s nominee Dhankhar, who has been hitting out at the chief minister over post-poll violence, appearing to make out a case for breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state.
“Total lawlessness & anarchy. Police and administration in silence mode. Hope you realise repercussions of such lawlessness and failure of constitutional mechanism,” governor Dhankhar tweeted on Monday, as a message to chief minister Mamata that clearly appeared to be warning to recommend central rule in the state.
While this came in response to the angry protest by the chief minister and her party over the arrests of cabinet ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and former mayor Sovan Chatterjee, Dhankhar has been handing out similar threats over post-poll violence.
“Cannot overlook such drifting from constitution @MamataOfficial. How can ruling party harmads (mercenaries) be law into themselves…,” the governor had tweeted on Sunday, after meeting people allegedly attacked by the Trinamul after the poll results.
All this has been seen as a brazen move by the ruling party, not to accept the poll verdict, betraying an attempt to make out a case for imposing central rule in the state.
BJP leaders in Delhi, however, claimed the aggressive intervention in Bengal was to protect the party’s vote base and also the newly elected MLAs, alleging attack from the Trinamul members.
“Our workers and leaders on the ground are being attacked. If we don’t protect them, then they will be compelled to desert the party,” one BJP general secretary said.
He acknowledged that the arrest of the ministers was excessive but defended saying they were needed to send out a message to the ruling Trinamul Congress to stop the attacks against BJP supporters.
“If we don’t do anything then even a chunk of our MLAs could also be forced to defect,” the leader claimed.
He also claimed that there was pressure on the central government to act from the RSS too. He claimed that even RSS cadres were under attack from the Trinamul.
Despite this spin to justify the excesses, the fact remains that the defeat in Bengal has stung the current regime at the Centre and they are unable to accept it.
Sections in the party, who have been critical of home minister Amit Shah’s brazen style of contesting polls, are pointing towards his silence post the Bengal verdict.
Shah, who had turned into the aggressive face of the wrest-Bengal project, has chosen silence after the votes were counted on May 2. It’s widely believed that as the home minister he was masterminding the central government’s bid to hit out at the newly elected state government.
“The way the CBI and the governor have been going, it clearly seems Amit Shah was trying to vent his frustration,” one former BJP MP said.
Party insiders said Shah was “over-confident” of a victory in Bengal. One leader said that apart from the party’s feedback, a very credible professional survey company, that had been hired, had also predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP.
The defeat seems to have shocked Shah and many in the party believe that the home minister was using the central government’s powers to go after the state government.
Despite the threat to dismiss the newly elected state government, as regularly being underlined by the governor, party insiders ruled out the option, fearing it would be politically very harmful to the BJP.
Party leaders said now that their bid to capture power in Bengal had failed, they were eyeing the next Lok Sabha polls.
“We won 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state (in 2019) and we need to defend our turf and ensure we win these seats again in 2024,” one BJP leader said.
Party leaders said that given Mamata’s emphatic victory it would be very difficult for the BJP to repeat the Lok Sabha tally from the state.
Internally, the BJP also fears that the Bengal verdict would cast an impact on the Uttar Pradesh polls early next year by giving a boost to the Opposition.