Mamata’s anti-BJP squad: The lengths some are going to as they seek to prevent another saffron wave

By Aishwarya Chaurasia

It seems like West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee is a firm believer in the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall”. In an effort to stand up against her strong political rival, the BJP, in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, Mamata Banerjee has been meeting up with non-BJP leaders for more than a month now. From NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena to BJP arch-rival Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie. The Trinamool Chief has even met daughters of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, K. Kavitha and Lalu Prasad Yadav, Misa Bharti. Mamata Banerjee also had plans to meet with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi but couldn’t because of her ill health. Miss Banerjee also mentioned being in close contact with Congress President Rahul Gandhi with whom she had been talking to over SMS and phone calls. The chief minister said that she and her party want everyone to work together and if Mayawati and Akhilesh are strong in UP, she is ready to extend her support to them.

Mamata’s anti-BJP stance is not a surprise

“We should find such a mechanism that it is one is to one (fight)”, the chief minister told the reporters adding that BJP is more communal than any other party. She emphasised that while the Shive Sena just talks about violence, it is the BJP that does it, bringing the “Hindutya to change”.

Naming parties like DMK, TDP and TRS led by Telangana Chief Minister Rao, Lalu Prasad’s RJD in Bihar and Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, Mamata Banerjee even went to the extent of saying that she is ready to help every party that is against BJP. With such blatant remarks against the ruling party, it is clear that the Bengal chief minister has launched a national mission to overthrow BJP and this doesn’t come as a shock. Mamata Banerjee has had a problem with BJP ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. Last year Mamata Banerjee threatened to target Delhi, after Amit Shah came up with the slogan of “ebar Bangla”. She also said something along the same lines when an FIR was filed by CBI against 13 Trinamool Congress leaders and ministers in connection with Narada Scam. She was quoted as saying “Jo humse takrayega… chur-chur ho jayega (anyone standing against us will be destroyed)“. Mamata also tried to stage an opposition against demonetisation, something that frizzled without much hullaballoo.

Mamata’s resistance to BJP is getting stronger

Mamata Banerjee’s “paranoia” is not completely uncalled for, given how obsessed Amit Shah is with Bengal. Amit Shah made a number of visits to Bengal last year, from his three day’s trip during Durga Puja to his lunch in the house of a tribal family at Dakkhin Katiajote village in Naxalbari. If BJP’s action is analysed closely, one would find that BJP is desperate for at least 10 seats from West Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Even though it was Mamata’s TMC that broke Left’s 35-year long reign in Bengal, BJP has successfully made its presence felt in the state, as the Left has proved to be a weak opposition to the TMC. BJP has tried to malign TMC on multiple occasions, sighting Mamata Banerjee’s appeasement policy towards Muslims. Despite all this, BJP’s plans of taking on Bengal will be obstructed by Mamata’s resistance. Mamata Banerjee is leaving no stones unturned to get back at the BJP. In the informal meeting she has had with non-BJP leaders she accepted that she was in Delhi to talk to several anti-BJP leaders and plan a strategy to defeat the ruling party.

Will Mamata be the leader of the federal front?

While it’s still unclear if the meetings and efforts to bring together every non-BJP leader will result in overpowering BJP or not, there is a need to address the elephant in the room, is Mamata pitching herself the leader of the federal front?

The chief minister’s increasing interest in national politics and her proactive role in dissing BJP and bringing together a bunch of leaders (some of whom were even her rivals) points to the fact that Mamata Banerjee might be eyeing something more than defeating BJP in 2019 elections. Miss Banerjee’s meeting with leaders of different ideologies and her talking about national issues like BJP’s misuse of all agencies including the Election Commission of India, that are beyond the ambit of her state is suggestive of her ambitions of seeing herself as the leader of the federal front.

Mamata’s ambition of the position might still be a conjecture, but one thing is final, she has made up her mind of having a non-BJP front as strong as possible. How BJP handles this spirited chief minister and wins more allies remains to be seen.


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