‘Mamta’s Magic” or ‘Modi Might’: who will solve Bengali mystery?

The most awaited and anticipated 2019 Lok Sabha elections started today with voting for 1st phase. The biggest bid is between Congress and BJP. BJP is fighting with all its might. The well organized and newly but strongly emerged BJP has the biggest challenge in Odisha and West Bengal.

West Bengal, the land of intellectuals like Rabindranath Tagore, the land which witnessed her own “Bengal Renaissance”, but today only witnessing the violence. Still, West Bengal stands strong for the fight of electoral politics.

In the last 70 years, West Bengal never witnessed the single footprint of any other party than CPI and Congress. Not a single national political party have any deep penetration in West Bengal rather the CPI in 1977.

The head of state, Mamta Banerjee has taken an oath to limit BJP from entering in West Bengal. She is not contesting elections but with the motto of “BJP na Chalobe”, she is standing resiliently between BJP and victory. Due to this situation, in this election, the main war is Modi v/s Mamata.

So, overall the fight in West Bengal is going to be very interesting and fierce.

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Mamta Banerjee, then young leader from movement, the member of the youth wing of Congress, fought her first Lok Sabha election in 1984. Due to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, India was experiencing the “Rajiv Wave”, this wave paid well to Mamta and she got elected. Then in 1991 and 1996, she again got elected. But in 1996, due to internal problems, she bid goodbye to Congress, and established her own party, “Trinamool party”. Trinamool is totally based on the agenda of local identity and Bengali culture. With her brand new party and appeal to local vanity, she got a clear victory in 1999, 2004 and 2009. Till 2011, she established her empire in West Bengal with ‘her own style’. 2011, her party also captured all the gram panchayat elections, and throughout the state, Mamta Banerjee became invincible.

In 2014, Mamta Banerjee dragged the full power in her hand in spite of ‘Modi Wave’, and in 2016, she again took the oath of Chief Ministership.

On the other hand, 2014 elected PM Narendra Modi with his innovative policies and promise of inclusive development, established his image as ‘leader from grass-root”. Many policies and decisions taken by his government are successful in spite they have face huge criticism every time.

After, historic win in 2014 elections, within the very less time, PM Modi with his simple background and influential personality created his own place in national as well as international politics. For many reasons, today India is definitely experiencing a “Modi wave”. Every Indian look at Narendra Modi as the synonym of development and upliftment.

So, to make her own influence in West Bengal in this elections, BJP is taking special efforts to be a “Party with the difference”. This Modi wave is certainly going to make some difference in West Bengal.

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Here are some factors which will pave a winning path for BJP in West Bengal-

  • BJP’s performance in Panchayat elections-In the Panchayat elections in 2018, for the first time, BJP has been elected to Gram Panchayat in every district. Particularly in Tribal area, BJP has won around 40% of Panchayat seats. With this victory, BJP’s chances of winning in North Bengal, South Bengal and Tribal dominated are increasing rapidly.
  • The biggest problem in West Bengal today is illegal immigration from Bangladesh. Due to this immigration, the Muslim population is increasing speedily. Because of this change, the Hindu community started to tilt gradually towards BJP than the existing government. So that various Hindu organizations are coming together to favour the BJP than Mamta Raj.
  • Bengali population is very fond of their culture, they are always more inclined to protect their culture. Due to recent restrictions on the religious and social events like Durga Puja, Bengali are restless in the state. BJP leaders cleverly using this, as to build up an association with Bengali culture, constantly involved and reminding the glorious past of Bengal by giving examples of legendary leaders from Bengal.
  • Unemployment, illiteracy, Anti-incumbency, communal clashes, corruption, and scams offering favorable conditions for the victory of BJP.

But, the biggest problem in front of BJP in West Bengal is, unlike Tripura, they don’t have a strong, influential local leader, who can challenge Mamta Banerjee and her popularity.

West Bengal has a continuous legacy of leftist parties and their ideologies. So that the overall ideological framework of West Bengal is influenced by leftist philosophy. So that with blazing and strong rightist thoughts, BJP has ideological problems in West Bengal.

Mamta Banerjee is Trinamool’s trump card and the supporting point for the party candidates. Basically, Banerjee has created a support base for herself through welfare schemes. With her own support base, Trinamool also has a strong hold on local unions and associations.

The state of West Bengal, due to constant one-party dominance, known for its political status quo- left parties ruled the state for 34 years, Banerjee has been in power for 8 years. However, voters have begun talking about a need for change and Modi seems to be the main reason for attraction to BJP. Many media reports also opined that the Banerjee’s denial of BJP’s Ratha Yatra in West Bengal is one of the signs of the increasing influence of BJP in the state.

Once the formidable force in West Bengal politics, the CPI(M) –led left front will fighting one of its toughest political wars in this elections. Because these polls will prove their political and electoral existence in the state. The left front which ruled the state for 34 years is now just the shadow of its past. CPI(M) is facing a steady decrease in its vote bank, the leadership crisis is struggling to hold its own ground as the BJP is replacing it as the main opposition to the ruling party.

West Bengal’s parliamentary politics has for long been based on a violent control territory and the exclusion of political rivals. In the beginning, Congress preferred these tactics. CPI (M) continued this evil legacy, and Mamta also used this weapon to continue her empire in the state. This whole tradition has led to a spiral of violence and bloodshed.

The most significant effort by BJP to spread network in WB is that regular trips of BJP president Amit Shah and state visits of PM Narendra Modi. Both leaders have addressed Public meetings and used the ‘Bangla’ for addressing the public. These visits will definitely benefit them to reduce the gap.

Both sides are fighting with their full potentials. In this elections, West Bengal is definitely going to witness tug of war between two big opponents. There is the possibility of the victory of BJP or Banerjee’s empire will continue.

The real magic wand to make any change is in the hand of voters. But to be sure, the results from this election in West Bengal are going to be surprising.


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