Ahead of the West Bengal State elections, a perturbed Mamata Banerjee has resorted to making all sorts of strange allegations. Her fear over losing the state to BJP, whose likelihood increases with each passing day, has left her grasping for straws. In a latest, she has resorted to accusing AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi to be a ‘BJP man’.
The AIMIM, buoyed by their marginal success in the Bihar Assembly Polls have now decided to contest the West Bengal Assembly Elections, scheduled to take place in the summer of 2021. AIMIM had won five seats in the Muslims dominated Seemanchal region in Bihar, bordering West Bengal and is surely turning into a major worry for Mamata Banerjee.
Clearly unsettled at this development, Mamata Banerjee said, “To divide the Muslim votes, the BJP is spending crores of rupees to bring in a party from Hyderabad. The plan is that BJP will eat into Hindu votes, and this Hyderabad party will eat into Muslim votes. In recent Bihar elections, they did the same thing. This party is a B-team of the BJP.”
Even though Mamata Banerjee’s insinuation is illogical for political scientists across the country, her reaction is explainable; considering her electoral tactics. The TMC supremo has for long, played appeasement politics to gain control of the state. Even though West Bengal is fraught with corruption, underdevelopment, and state-induced violence, the party always comes to power due to her tactics of polarisation.
The Muslims make up nearly 30% of the voters in the state, a voter base Mamata has usurped, by hook or by crook. Her penchant of handing out favours to certain influential sects has until now helped turn the tables in her favour, but with BJP’s rising popularity, Mamata Banerjee fears for her diminishing powers.
This fact is further reinforced with the slew of exoduses from the party in recent times. This includes West Bengal Minister for Transport, Irrigation and Water Resources, and Chairman of Haldia Development Authority, Suvendu Adhikari and TMC MLA from Cooch Behar Dakshin, Mihir Goswami. Goswami had called his decision to resign from the party a “crusade against the immoral and incorrect happenings” in the state.
Realising that Mamata Banerjee is losing all her support to BJP, Owaisi hit back at the TMC Supremo and said, “She (Mamata) should worry about her own home, so many of her people are going to BJP.”
Further emphasising that Muslim voters solely do not belong to Mamata Banerjee, he said, “So far you’ve only dealt with obedient Mir Jaffers and Sadiqs. You don’t like Muslims who think and speak for themselves. You’ve insulted our voters in Bihar. Muslim voters aren’t your jagir.”
In a series of actions indicating the inevitable, BJP has been diverting the Hindu vote for themselves. While it has been clear since the Lok Sabha Elections of 2019 that voters are now moving away from TMC’s corrupt and oppressive governance model, Mamata Banerjee had counted on her loyal Muslim voters to bring her a favourable mandate. She has for long depended on vote bank politics to keep herself getting elected in West Bengal, time and again. However, with Owaisi’s entry in the fray, things are certainly looking gloomy for TMC.