Bengal has a rich intellectual and cultural tradition, and it produced great economist, sociologist, political scientist & men of calibre for the country. These experts contributed the significant share in National polity, and most of them were pragmatic. The political importance of Bengal has increased ever since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came into power and tried to change the political landscape. In fact, it is further changing rapidly with BJP becoming very aggressive and getting a foothold in this important state.
During the 2019 elections, Mamata was overconfident about her political clout and a bit of arrogance of power and was expecting a clear walk over for her party with sweeping victory across the state. But to her utter surprise and so for the many political pundits the phenomenal growth in public support for the Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal was unquestionably one of the biggest news points of the 2019 general election. The party's popular vote rose from 17 per cent in 2014 to 40 per cent in 2019, and its Lok Sabha tally increased from two seats to 18. There are suggestions that had it not been for the climate of violence and intimidation, the BJP's share of seats and the popular vote would have been even greater.
The lesson for Didi: Ignoring Hindu votes a big political loss:
Victory slogans of BJP's historic victory in Bihar assembly elections are floating in the political air of Bengal. Mamata Banerjee, who has been accused of Muslim appeasement from the beginning, has started trying to woo the Hindi-speaking people and Hindus in Bengal. Mamata does not want both these factors to play a significant role in the forthcoming Bengal assembly elections. Mamata knows that in the last Lok Sabha elections, BJP won 18 seats out of a total of 42 seats in Bengal only with the help of Hindu and Hindi-speaking voters. Since then, Amit Shah and JP Nadda have repeatedly claimed that the next government in West Bengal will now be BJP. Mamata had, come to power after defeating leftist parties, who were ruling Bengal for three decades.
Winning for the fourth time in a row in Bihar is a big success:
Despite the anti-incumbency in Bihar, how the BJP led alliance has succeeded in forming the government for the fourth time in a row, it has once again proved Modi's unyielding popularity. It seems as if the Modi wave in Indian politics has become a never-ending electoral wave. If the NDA government was formed despite Janata Dal United falling badly behind in the Bihar elections, the most significant factor in this is the Modi wave. West Bengal has borders with Bihar. The districts, which touch Bihar borders are the area of concern for Mamata. That is why, the results of the Bihar assembly elections have given Mamata Banerjee sleepless nights. Long before the Bihar elections, Mamata recognized the growing influence and acceptance of the BJP in Bengal. Organizing 'shakha' in various places in West Bengal was enough to show that the Bengali populace, who was influenced by the leftist ideology for decades, is now starting to say, Jay Shree Ram. Mamata, who once used to say it's her right to eat beef, is now trying to woo Hindus by talking about allowances and free houses for Hindu priests. Despite this, the influence of saffron continues to grow in Bengal.
Didi failed in development works; her speech is her rule:
The fear of Mamata Banerjee is also not wrong. Senior BJP leaders like Amit Shah and JP Nadda are repeatedly talking about the Bengal victory. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also started discussing the failures of 'Didi’ administration. The RSS has been organizing ‘Shakha’ in the tribal and underdeveloped areas of West Bengal for many years. After Bihar victory, the BJP has started preparations for the West Bengal elections more aggressively. Now Union Home Minister Amit Shah has blown the bugle for forthcoming West Bengal assembly elections. He has given speeches in rallies in the state and called upon the public to extend their support to BJP. The BJP is first targeting tribal areas because they had received great political support in these underdeveloped areas. People need food, houses, education, and employment and the present government has failed to fulfil their aspirations.
Will Mamata join hands with anti-BJP parties?
Mamata Banerjee came to power in Bengal by defeating Left parties. Over time, she and her political party have learned all the tricks which were earlier used by the communist parties. Now it is evident that the results of the Bihar assembly elections will bound to have an impact on the Bengal elections. Will Mamata join hands with Lefts and Congress to keep BJP out of Bengal? The BJP has been trying to surround Mamata Banerjee in Bengal for a long time now. So far they have not succeeded except winning 18 Lok Sabha seats in the last parliamentary elections of 2019. Assembly elections are due in Bengal next year; it will be interesting to see if anti-BJP parties will join hands or they will keep fighting with each other?
West Bengal has a long history of political violence
It is a well-known fact that revolution and passion are included in the political psyche of the state. Bengal has a long history of political violence. The Naxalbari movement took a violent turn in Bengal politics in the 1960s. The Naxalites did not believe in democracy. Under Congress rule, the state government did nothing to curb Naxalite violence. Congress won the first three state elections in West Bengal post-independence. The Naxalite agitation, severe power crisis, strikes, and smallpox outbreak had destroyed the economic development of West Bengal after 1967. The year 1977 saw the end of Congress dominance in West Bengal and the Left came to power. It did not end political violence in the state.
Economic liberalization and aggressive Mamata defeated Lefts
The end of the Left dominance in Bengal started with the opening of the Indian economy in 1990. The communists were against economic liberalization. With the changing times, the old left leaders were side-lined, and the musclemen took their place. It leads to more political violence in Bengal, especially in rural areas. In such critical times, only Mamata had shown the courage to fight the left parties in their language. Under her leadership, Trinamool realized that without being violent, they could not compete with the ruling party. The period from 2007 to 2011 was one of the most violent years. The Tata Nano car project in Singur and the acquisition of farmers' land for industrialization in Nandi village, gave Mamata much-needed instruments against the left government.
The government changed, but violence is as it is
Mamata blamed the left government that it was supporting industrialists and working against the interests of the farmers and the poor people of the state. The Tatas had to leave Singur, and the Nandi village project could not be completed. Singur and Nandigram made Mamata successful in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. With the help of the ‘Mother, Mati and Manush’, Mamata overthrew the 34-year-old Left government in 2011. The violent agitations in Singur and Nandigram helped Mamata to become the CM of West Bengal, and even after the Trinamool government was formed, the political violence continued. It is believed that the Trinamool did not hesitate to use power and violence to win the panchayat elections of recent years. Many BJP workers have been killed during the last few years. There is no difference between the present Trinamool government and the Left government of the past.
Who will rule The Bengal from 2021?
It’s a question everyone in the political spectrum is discussing over some time. No one has any definite answer, but the fight is very close, tight and it’s ultimately between TMC & BJP. The upcoming election will also see the irrelevance of the Left & Congress in West Bengal Politics. What BJP has been able to develop over the last few years in Bengal is to create cadres and activating them. The BJP is also attracting new cadres at every level in the state. On the other hand, Mamata will be facing anti-incumbency for her 10 years rule. After winning Bihar, will Mamata be able to stop the powerful BJP in Bengal or the Modi wave will uproot the Mamata government for sure, the Bengal election will be an interesting one, 2021 to look for.