The two bitter political rivals in West Bengal: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Indian National Congress (INC), seem to be coming closer based on the common stance they share on being anti-Modi and ironically the Pegasus snooping scandal is doing the trick and getting them closer.
Mamata’s meet with Sonia in Delhi on Monday could establish TMC-Congress ties, hinting at a possible political alliance in the future. Mamata will camp in Delhi till July 29 and during the stay will also be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 28 to raise various issues related to funds and COVID-19 vaccination in Bengal.
“Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to build an anti-BJP force in association with the Congress is going to yield zero results. We have seen the performance of the Congress and the Left in Bengal,” said Dilip Ghosh, state BJP president.
He further added, “She is going to the national capital to surrender before the Prime Minister because she misused the central fund. She is going to meet PM Modi to beg for more funds. We are still receiving incidents of violence in several districts. TMC goons are attacking our party cadres and the police are doing nothing.”
After defeating the BJP in the Assembly polls in Bengal, Banerjee has intensified her election campaign against the BJP and has been constantly urging the opposition party leaders to form an umbrella body to take on the BJP in the 2024 general elections. But yet, Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Pradip Bhattacharya while talking about the future of an alliance between the Congress and the TMC, said, “It will be too early to predict the political equation of the opposition leaders ahead of the 2024 polls. Before the Assembly polls in the state, the Congress leadership in Delhi discussed with us about all other political parties, including the TMC. This time, too, the central leadership will certainly discuss the matter (on a possible alliance with the Congress) with the state Congress leaders before taking any final decision. Everything is premature now.”
Political analysts and experts felt that it will be too early to predict the feasibility of ‘political understanding’ among the leaders who are against the BJP because of inevitable differences among them over the portfolio, posts, national issues, and individual prominence in future.
One of the theories in the media about the meeting between Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and political strategist Prashant Kishor last week reflects the beginning of an effort to bring together a non-BJP, non-Congress third front. Prashant Kishor went to meet Pawar as the latter had supported Banerjee during the West Bengal Assembly elections. Pawar was even supposed to come and campaign for her but had to cancel due to medical reasons. Congress has been trying to maintain a healthy relationship with the TMC and promote them on occasions.
Political expert Kapil Thakur said “In less than four years of time, it will be difficult for parties like Congress to bounce back in the national politics. As far as TMC is concerned, it is equally a challenging task for Mamata Banerjee to project her party as one of the key forces against PM Modi in national politics. The main problem in such a coalition, which we have witnessed in the past, is differences of opinion among the opposition leaders.”
Although, reporters while speaking to multiple leaders in the TMC and NCP and none of them said that the meeting was part of the mission to create a non-BJP, non-Congress front yet it is pretty obvious that Pawar and the INC have accepted the TMC leadership because NCP for its part is only limited to Maharashtra and a few Union Territories, while Congress, due to lack of leadership and fading popularity in the country, has lost its sheen. So far only TMC has shown the ability to take on the BJP.
The Challenge of pitting TMC against the BJP in national politics will not be an easy one for Banerjee, yet it is evident that Mamata is meeting opposition parties to create an anti-Modi alliance pushing herself for the Prime Minister’s post whereas her nephew Abhishek Banerjee for the CM’s post, while Congress seems to have accepted the leadership of Mamata, the Pegasus snooping controversy brought them closer against a common enemy and shared hatred for the Modi government.