With the assembly polls of West Bengal approaching early next year, the BJP has launched an unprecedented offensive against the ruling TMC. By any estimate, the battle for Bengal is the most important one which the saffron party is fighting to win in recent history.
Meanwhile, the TMC is also doing what it can to insulate itself from the BJP’s offensive. Of course, almost nothing the TMC does is amounting to them saving their electoral prospects, the obliteration of which will be more than visible next year.
As such, Mamata Banerjee has now taken to issuing verdicts on who is a real Hindu and who is not, in a desperate move to somehow salvage whatever little is left of her political career. North Bengal has in recent times become a nightmare for the TMC. In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the party failed to win a single seat in the region, which is why Mamata Banerjee has begun explaining to the constituents of the region that the BJP and RSS are not a party/organisation of real Hindus, and are instead comprised of ‘outsiders’.
“Despite doing so much for the people in North Bengal, we have not won a single seat from North Bengal. Why? How come BJP, who came from outside, won all the seats? What was our fault in the last 10 years? The RSS and BJP are trying to take control over Bengal for their vested interest. They are not the real Hindus. They are not Ramakrishna or Vivekananda as they only spread hatred,” said Banerjee while addressing a public rally in Jalpaiguri district.
Out of eight Lok Sabha seats including Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Raiganj, Balurghat, North Malda, and South Malda in North Bengal, the TMC had suffered a comprehensive rout, as it failed to win a single seat in the region; seven of which went to the BJP, while Malda South was won by the Congress. North Bengal has a significant tribal population, and the BJP enjoys tremendous support among such populations. The crucial Rajbonshi community, which constitutes 30 per cent of the vote in the region, continues to favour the BJP.
It is expected that the saffron party will sweep North Bengal once again in the upcoming assembly polls. The region contributes 54 assembly segments to the state assembly, and therefore the TMC is looking to ensure that it is not reduced to a non-entity in such areas.
Mamata Banerjee has sought to play the toxic sub-nationalism card to somehow challenge the BJP’s massive surge in the state. It is for this precise reason that she is declaring the saffron party and its patriarch organisation – RSS as those which are comprised of ‘outsiders’.
It remains incomprehensible for many as to who bestowed the right of certifying Hindus upon the TMC and Mamata Banerjee. For a party which has constantly neglected the Hindu community in the state only to consolidate its minority vote bank, issuing judgements about how the BJP and RSS are pseudo-Hindus is surely an overreach, to which the state’s citizenry will reply during the assembly polls in April-May next year.