A few years ago, a certain politician by the name of Arvind Kejriwal running a party called Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was so buoyed by the Delhi election results that he thought it would be the right decision to compete in the big boys’ league, i.e. the Lok Sabha elections. Incidentally, his party fought on 434 seats and barring a couple, managed to lose the deposit on every single one of them. In a nutshell, the whole experiment was a cataclysmic disaster. Now, another politician has tried to take the same road and the early results are eerily reminiscent of the debacle of the yore. The leader in question here is Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata wants to replace Congress:
Ever since Mamata won the assembly elections, back in May, she has charted upon a whirlwind tour of the country to stake her claim as the alternative to Congress on the national map. With the BJP wave, propelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi refusing to die out just yet, Mamata has sought this as the opportunity to take Congress out of the equation.
With returns like 44 seats and 52 seats in two consecutive elections, it perhaps appears the right call to push Congress to the fringes. However, the early hurdles in Mamata’s “Alexandar-esque’ quest prove that the task is not as easy as it appeared when she embarked upon it.
Goans are bemused:
Mamata and her party have been focused on the Goa Assembly elections. Mamata has sent her political strategists to the coastal state, injected big names like Leander Paes, and has practically smothered Goa’s poles and palm trees with her posters. While the PR is good, in fact, admirable, the locals in Goa are bemused.
After all, a party that seemingly did not have any presence in the state, with locals oblivious to the existence of something called TMC, they are apprehensive.
No one is buying Mamata’s vision:
Mamata recently staged the successful coup of Congress high command in Meghalaya and thought could churn up the same magic in Goa. However, Mamata’s bag of tricks has yielded no great response up until now.
She went to Maharashtra, met Thackeray Junior, and tried to plot an alliance, sans Congress. However, Shiv Sena outrightly refused that it wouldn’t be a part of a coalition without Congress as Thackeray went to meet Sonia Gandhi to send the message across the board.
Tripura was humbling:
Most importantly, Mamata and her party were humbled in the just concluded Tripura Municipality elections. BJP was victorious in 329 out of 334 total seats in 13 urban local bodies of the state. TMC which tried its best to pressure people to vote for them could only gather one seat for themselves.
Read More: Tripura is THE Bengal. The Bengal that led India in the past
If the Tripura results are any benchmark, then it’s evident that Mamata is out of her depth trying to campaign outside Bengal. If her charm could not work on the majority of the Bengali population of Tripura, what makes her wonder that she can achieve the unthinkable in Goa or the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh elections.
Believe it or not, Rahul is still a much more recognisable face than Mamata on the national map. TMC, which came into existence some two decades ago is trying to take on a century-old party. Whatever the dilapidated state of the Congress be, it is still a party with a pan-India presence and Mamata will not have it easy trying to reach that level.
She contested the WB election claiming TMC is a local party and BJP and other parties are outsiders. Now that tactic is hounding her because now she/TMC is an outsider.