If history is anything to go by, the run-up to the West Bengal Assembly elections will be extreme and marked by violence as we saw during the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. In a concerning development, bombs have been recovered from the residence of a worker of the Indian Secular Front (ISF), which is a part of the Left-Congress alliance in West Bengal.
Guns, bombs and bomb-making equipment have been recovered from the residence of fugitive ISF worker Ziarul Mollah with his father, Jalil Mollah subsequently being arrested.
Tamal Sarkar, the senior police official of crime, Baruipur district police, said, “After receiving information from secret sources at night, we started searching the house of ISF worker Ziarul Mollah. A shotgun and bombs and bomb-making equipment were recovered from his home during the search. We have arrested accused ISF worker Ziarul Mollah’s father Jalil Mollah. Search is on for the accused Ziarul Mollah.”
Anyone following Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui and his Indian Secular Front would tell you that there is nothing secular about Siddiqui who possess a communal mindset.
The INC’s decision to ally with the ISF has ruffled quite a few feathers in the Grand Old Party with senior leader Anand Sharma slamming the move as he said, “Alliance with ISF and other such parties is against the ideology of the Congress and should have been discussed with the Congress Working Committee (CWC).”
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury retorted as he said, “We are in charge of a state and don’t take any decision on our own without any permission.”
The 30% minority vote in West Bengal always had a major say in electing the state’s Chief Minister with Mamata’s two terms too heavily relied on wooing the minority electorate. However, this time around, not only is Mamata battling tremendous anti-incumbency due to her absolute bungling in the handling of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the utter lawlessness, the Owaisi-Siddiqui factor threatens to upset her applecart by snatching away the minority voter base.
The decision of ISF’s Siddiqui to enter the electoral fray is much more important than Owaisi’s entry in West Bengal as the Furfura Sharif holds sway in at least 90 seats spread across the districts of Malda, Murshidabad, south 24 Paraganas, Howrah and Hoogly.
The minority vote is headed for an almighty split between the Left-INC-ISF alliance and TMC, which will only benefit the BJP and increase the party’s victory margin come May 2.