Mamata Banerjee led TMC is about to face its toughest challenge during the Assembly Elections of 2021 with BJP being the main challenger to the incumbent Chief Minister. It’s not going to be a cakewalk for Banerjee this time, like the 2011 Assembly Elections, when she uprooted the Communist regime from Bengal, and this is very much visible from her actions in the last few months.
Now, to make the matter worse for TMC, Owaisi led AIMIM has announced that his party would be contesting the 2021 Assembly Election. Shifting her focus from BJP, Mamata Banerjee is now being forced to focus on AIMIM because the Owaisi-led party could counter her equations by cutting votes on Muslim dominated seats, given the fact that Hindu dominated seats, especially in the Western region of West Bengal, are already looking forward to voting for BJP.
Mamata Banerjee is now trying hard to weaken AIMIM by bringing its leaders into the TMC fold. A few days ago, TMC roped in almost the entire leadership of AIMIM including Sheikh Anwar Pasha- the face of the party in the state. The other AIMIM leaders who joined TMC are Murshid Ahmed, Sheikh Hasibul Islam, Jamshed Ahmed, Intekhab Alam, Abul Kashem, Syed Rahaman, and Anarul Mondal.
At the Trinamul Bhawan in the city, the state minister Bratya Basu sitting next to Mr Pasha said, “He was the face of AIMIM and its pillar here. Shunning communal and divisive politics however he and others joined our party in the attraction of our party supremo and CM Mamata Banerjee’s vision for peace and development.”
Tearing into Mr Owaisi, Mr Pasha alleged, “A section of people is taking our country to the path of destruction by misusing our faith. A lot of powers including those who wear saffron or green is eyeing Bengal. They are trying to create a division. AIMIM played a role in the polarisation of votes in Bihar which helped the BJP in forming the government there. But it will not happen in Bengal.”
It seems Mamata Banerjee and her party is utilizing all its energy in dealing with AIMIM and it will definitely help benefit BJP in the upcoming polls. Previously Mamata has criticized AIMIM and called the party extremist. “I am watching that there are some extremists among minorities,” Mamata told her party workers in Coochbehar. “They have their base in Hyderabad. Don’t listen to them,” she added.
The Muslim-vote being split between the TMC and AIMIM, inclining more so towards the latter will again spell a disaster for the ruling party of West Bengal. This will also mean that the excessive minority appeasement of the TMC over the last couple of years would have gone down the drain, and amounted to a grand nothing when it mattered to the party the most. A split Muslim-voter base will immensely benefit the BJP, as the Hindus will be consolidating their support behind the saffron party, in contrast to a fragmented vote surrounding the TMC.
The minority-vote, despite her constant appeasement politics, is not solidly favouring the TMC. It is fragmented in favour of the party at best. Meanwhile, in the course of trying to win over an unwinnable vote bank, the TMC-alienated Hindus of Bengal are big-time, leading them to support the BJP. AIMIM being a potential vote-cutter of the TMC, should serve as a reminder to Mamata Banerjee, and all other political leaders in the country, that minority appeasement will drain excessive energies, without promising fruitful dividends.