In the last few months, TMC’s electoral strategy has revolved around sub-nationalism and Bengali pride. Mamata Banerjee even called Prime Minister Modi an ‘outsider’ and alleged that BJP does not know anything about the culture of Bengal.
However, Suvendu Adhikari, against whom Mamata Banerjee is contesting from Nandigram, has played the outsider card against the CM of West Bengal and said that she hardly ever visited Nandigram in the last five years. Why she did not contest from Bhawanipur, where she resides, said Adhikari in an election rally. Suvendu Adhikari has taken Mamata Banerjee’s ‘outsider’ jibe to the cleaners by calling her an outsider in Nandigram. Realising that she has no firm ground to stand on in Nandigram, Mamata Banerjee has rented two houses in the town to show that she belongs to the city as much as Suvendu Adhikari.
Nandigram is in any case Suvendu Adhikari’s citadel. Attempting to breach an impenetrable fortress-like Nandigram should have been a no-brainer for Mamata Banerjee from the word go. But by engaging in theatrics, Mamata Banerjee seems to have lost the trust of the people and has simply handed over an imminent victory to Suvendu Adhikari on a silver platter.
Mamata Banerjee has made a suicidal move of contesting from Nandigram alone. Leave alone being sworn in as the chief minister for a third term, Mamata Banerjee now faces the prospect of not even being elected as an MLA in the upcoming elections. That, most definitely, would mean the end of a fiery political career for Mamata Banerjee, as she would be forced to rethink her continuance in politics after losing Nandigram. Renting two houses in the town is a desperate attempt to garner the necessary support for the upcoming election.
The BJP would not have thrown an open challenge to the TMC supremo if they were even a tad bit unsure of not winning Nandigram themselves. They laid a trap for Mamata Banerjee and she has now fallen into it, showcasing the shrewdness of BJP’s politics.
With its emphatic show in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has made it clear that Hindus and nationalism have not become irrelevant in West Bengal politics. PM Modi and Amit Shah proved how nationalism and undermining of Hindus were potent issues in quantifiable terms. For a party, which was virtually seen as non-existent in the state only till a few years ago, winning 18 out of 42 seats was no mean achievement.
However, Mamata Banerjee’s move to invoke the Bengali outsider card would ensure that she does not become even an MLA. Suvendu is among the smartest politicians in the country and he has taken many leaflets out of the rise of Himanta Biswa Sarma. He aims to become the Himanta of West Bengal, and he enjoys the kind of popularity and influence required to gain that position.
The outsider card would definitely work against Mamata Banerjee because the people in Nandigram and its surrounding areas know only one leader – Suvendu Adhikari. And, this is the reason that almost every member of his family is at elected posts in the Medinipur area.