As the race for West Bengal elections heats up, parties are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their respective victories. In a bizarre turn of events, someone masqueraded as Hemant Soren and called leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Deve Gowda to campaign for Mamata for a sum of Rs 50 lakhs.
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Chairperson Farooq Abdullah alleged that he received a call from an imposter who was masquerading as Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who requested him to work for West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and also get paid for his services.
When Abdullah discussed this with a certain JMM MP, it was revealed that earlier a similar call was made to Janata Dal (Secular) President and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister while addressing a meeting of party workers in Udhampur, said, “A few days ago I got a fake call where a person impersonating as Jharkhand CM asked me to work for Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata and get Rs 50 lakhs. I called JMM MP who told me Deve Gowda ji got the same call. They’ll use any means to pit us against one another.”
What is even more bizarre, is the fact that Abdullah chose to blame the BJP despite the lack of any evidence as he claimed that the party is spreading lies for electoral gains.
Recently, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) which primarily banks on tribal votes, announced that it will contest in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Elections. Hemant Soren, the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, announced that the party will contest elections in Vrihat Jharkhand, the districts in neighbouring states like West Bengal and Odisha are dominated by tribals.
The entry of JMM and the Soren factor is probably Mamata Banerjee’s attempt to weaken BJP in the Western region of West Bengal- an area dominated by tribal and OBC population- where BJP has performed excellently in the last few years. The BJP won all the seats of the western region in the 2019 general election.
The attempt of TMC to weaken BJP in the region is set to fall flat on its face because JMM’s success in Jharkhand cannot be repeated in West Bengal due to various reasons. In Jharkhand, BJP lost due to ineffective leadership of Raghubar Das, the allegation of corruption of senior party leaders, not bringing a tribal as CM candidate in the state-dominated by tribal population and massive party infighting. Such factors led to Hemant Soren becoming the new CM of Jharkhand.
The vote percentage of the party remained above 31 per cent and it won a large number of seats. The party lost in the state because people were not willing to see Raghubar Das as Chief Minister for another term and Soren utilised the opportunity. Soren crafted alliances with Congress and RJD, thus combining opposition votes against BJP. However, in West Bengal, none of these factors is going to work for JMM as Soren enjoys little support in tribal-dominated districts of West Bengal.