On April 25 BJP national president Amit Shah started Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vistarak Yojana from the infamous Naxalbari in West Bengal. He has spent three days prabash in Bengal and launched “Mission Bengal” program. While targeting Trinamool Congress government in the State, he announced “This is where violence started. I am happy to see the Lotus bloom here. Bengal, which was once at the forefront of development, now lags behind. Ruling party engaged in unabated corruption. Unemployment is high and the TMC government is following the policy of appeasement of minorities.” Further he said that the new slogan of BJP would be “Ebaar Bangla” (This Time Bangla).
Soon Mamata Banerjee retaliated with terror tactics on the poor couple of Naxalbari who hosted Amit Shah with simple lunch of rice and daal. Firstly they were kidnapped along with their small kid, and later they were forced to join Trinamool Congress in the presence of no less than a State Minister. Whole of India condemned the unethical and fascist incident of the Trinamool Congress party. Naxalbari could not open a new page of peace – but continued its legacy of violence under Mamata regime. It’s unfortunate for peace loving people of Naxalbari and it's a shame for Bengal.
Just a year back, in May 2016, Mamata Banerjee was returned to power with whooping majority of 211 MLAs in the assembly of 294. Everybody thought for next five years it will be a smooth sailing of Mamata Raj. But apparently Mamata was not at all comfortable – may be she knew how hollow the win was. That’s why such massive win didn’t quench her thirst for power or uneasiness – she went on for forcible acquirement of MLAs from other parties with two pronged autocratic strategies: terror tactics and police cases. In the history of independent India, nowhere such process of abduction of elected representatives happened. Mamata broke all ethical rules of democratic practices. But in spite of all her maneuvering, a deep sense of instability remained silently prevalent in her party. She seems to be vulnerable despite having undisputed majority.
Since the assembly election of 2016, Political realignments in Bengal have been taking place rather rapidly. No one expected the call for change-in-guard will rise so soon. During last one year three aspects have become pronounced: firstly CPM is a dying force, secondly Congress has no relevance in Bengal politics, and thirdly BJP has become the only viable and strong alternatives to Trinamool Congress. All the elections held during last one year have established this realignment. Mamata Banerjee also took note of this fact and in the last core committee meeting of Trinamool Congress, held on 19th May, she clearly stated that “BJP is the number one opponent” and asked party workers to counter BJP growth in the state. Her close parleys with Sonia Gandhi have jeopardized all or any credentials of Congress in the State. CPM has also lost credibility due to their recurring alliance with Congress in the State and alliance with Mamata in national issues. On the other hand constant fear of potential CBI-ED actions against scam tainted leaders has made Trinamool Congress a disjointed iconoclastic group who’s only cementing factor was anti-BJP virulence.
The recently held election in seven municipalities in West Bengal has seen some unprecedented phenomenon and murder of democracy. Four municipalities were in Darjeeling Hills, where central forces were deployed for the poll and there was no report of poll violence. Three municipalities were in plains where local police were deployed for the poll and wide spread violence was reported. Trinamool Congress goons were seen with guns and bombs capturing booths after booths, police was a mute spectator, and media has shown how votes were looted. CPM and Congress, who were fighting the election in alliance, have withdrawn from the election midway – and only BJP remained in the hot battle ground to fight Trinamool terror.
State Election Commissioner, a nominee of the State government, has performed miserably in arranging free and fair poll. Re-poll was ordered only for 5 booths, because the EVMs were damaged by hoodlums. And surprise of all – all the five booths where re-poll took place under strong media glare, won by the oppositions. This incident has clearly established the fact that if poll is free, then win of Trinamool Congress is a myth. Also another thing became obvious that principal opposition in the State is BJP.
Panchayet poll is to be held in West Bengal any time in 2018. It will be conducted by the State Election Commission, and their hopeless and hapless role is already established. Now it has become amply clear that unless Central Force is deployed, no election in West Bengal will be free and fair. People of Bengal want to vote without fear. Who will ensure that simple constitutional rights of people? Awarding and arranging an atmosphere of free democracy in Bengal will be more important task of BJP than any other issue in Bengal. To do so there are four possible courses of actions or combinations of all of them:
- To strengthen the ground level organization of BJP so that common people under the banner of lotus can regroup to resist the Trinamool tyranny. Problem remains: how to deal with partisan police?
- To approach judiciary to get order of deployment of Central Force during Panchayet election, like it happened in 2013 on a demand of Mira Pandey, the then State Election Commissioner of West Bengal. Problem remains: Meaningful deployment as well as employment of central forces purposefully depends on District Magistrates, who are again mostly under the dictates of the Trinamool Congress.
- To break the back bone of Trinamool Congress with pending arrests by CBI and ED of Trinamool Congress leaders under Saradha, Naradha, Rose Valley and other innumerable scams. Such investigative actions under law, which are anticipated for quite some time and which are ordered none less than Supreme Court and High Court should be demanded and enforced immediately. Problem remains: If CBI or ED does not act in time, Trinamool Congress goons will be encouraged to attack BJP workers with the idea that no one can touch Trinamool Congress leaders.
- To enforce President’s Rule – may be for a short term. Specific purpose imposition of President’s Rule to protect the democratic rights of common people, to ensure fundamental rights of the constitution and to conduct election free and fair manner.
While talking of Bengal one should not forget that Bengal has the ill fate of four decades having State governments who have been always at the loggerhead with the successive Central governments. During the 34 years of Left rule and subsequently during the Mamata regime, no commonality or synergy could be developed between the State and Centre due to rule of opposing political parties. Bengal only suffered – its development was the casualty. Now is the time to rectify this error and BJP government in both Bengal and Centre will be a great blessing for the future of West Bengal.