Merely days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah wrapped up his two-day visit to the all-important state of West Bengal, which goes to polls early next year, the Trinamool Congress’ top leadership appears to be falling apart, in all grandeur, like a house of cards. The visit by Amit Shah, which was aimed at taking stock of the BJP’s organisational preparedness and also to plug in some loopholes has now ended up serving as a cue for many top leaders of the TMC to call it quits from their party, in order to join the saffron camp, or wage a lone battle, momentarily at least, against Mamata Banerjee.
According to reports, in the latest cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at least four top ministers were absent, which is unusual, to say the least. The absentee ministers were Rajib Banerjee, Gautam Deb and Rabindra Nath Ghosh. However, the one name which has been in the murmurs more often than the others is that of Suvendu Adhikari, by far the TMC’s most popular leader after Mamata Banerjee, or perhaps even more. Suvendu Adhikari too was absent at the latest cabinet meet chaired by Mamata Banerjee.
बड़ी ख़बर- TMC में बग़ावत ? परिवहन मंत्री और क़द्दावर नेता सुवेंदु अधिकारी सहित तीन मंत्री राजीव बैनर्जी, गौतम देब, रविंद्र घोष @MamataOfficial की केबिनेट मीटिंग में नहीं पहुँचे, कल सूवेंदु ने TMC के ख़िलाफ़ नंदीग्राम में सभा की थी और ममता बैनर्जी के फ़ोटो/पोस्टर नहीं लगाए थे. pic.twitter.com/EchQgZc4ZD
— Vikas Bhadauria (ABP News) (@vikasbha) November 12, 2020
There is a strong possibility of Adhikari joining the BJP. In fact, Adhikari’s supporters even put up rally posters that did not mention his political affiliation or current designation. That Adhikari did not know about such posters being put up is a near impossibility. His absence from the cabinet meet further cements prospects of him joining the saffron party. The posters, meanwhile, were seen in districts such as Purba Medinipur, Nadia, Murshidabad, Paschim Bardhaman and Malda.
Suvendu Adhikari joining BJP will be the biggest loss for TMC so far. Even bigger than Mukul Roy crossing over. Suvendu is the tallest mass leader after Mamata in the party. https://t.co/KsCPAczsaU
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) November 12, 2020
Hinting at the possibility of Adhikari leaving the ruling party, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “TMC is like a cabbage. One by one its leaves are coming off. Once all leaves come off then there will be no cabbage.” Meanwhile, it is not like Suvendu Adhikari is keeping his disgust for the TMC all to himself. In fact, the man has broken into open revolt against the Mamata-regime. Speaking of the TMC, Adhikari from Nandigram said, “They suddenly came to Nandigram now, just ahead of the election. Where were they for 13 years?” It must be mentioned that the Adhikari family is the most influential in Bengal’s East Medinipur. Once with the BJP, Suvendu Adhikari will not just bring his own tremendous political clout into the saffron camp, but also his family’s incredible influence along with him.
For the BJP, it is essential to make TMC a weak political front prior to the elections next year. Making influential and powerful leaders leave Mamata Banerjee’s party is a prerequisite for the same. As times progress, and the elections of West Bengal draw closer, it is becoming clear that the BJP holds the keys to much of TMC’s prowess, and that it can practically vacate a major chunk of the ruling party at a time of its choosing, rendering the TMC machinery toothless.
If the TMC loses four political heavyweights all together, needless to say, it would be an irrecoverable loss for Mamata Banerjee. While BJP’s political workers and karyakartas get killed in Bengal, the saffron party seems to have realised that its political opponents must be relentlessly beaten where it hurts them the most.