The war of words between the Trinamool Congress(TMC) administration and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is not new. However, it gains significance with six months left for the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal. The war of words is raising political temperatures in the state, with TMC fighting hard to keep BJP at bay, after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent Bengal visit. The top BJP leader confidently claimed that the saffron party will gain 200 of 294 seats in the upcoming elections.
Where does this confidence stem from? BJP’s tally growing from 2 to 18 seats in the state and TMC being down from 34 of 42 Lok Sabha seats to 22 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is an indication of BJP’s increase in support base in the state. Meanwhile the Governor has been lashing out at the TMC administration over a lapse in the law and order over recent political killing and the blast in the plastic manufacturing factory on Thursday which killed 5 persons and injured 15. The TMC has accused Dhankhar of being a BJP stooge.
Governor Dhankhar in his tweet asking Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contain illegal bomb factories should be probed which the state Home department later denied the claims saying the blast had nothing to do with illegal bomb making. The tweet by the Home Department also stated that Malda DM and SP are on spot along with a senior Minister.
While the BJP has announced big plans for West Bengal with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and JP Nadda expected to visit the state every month to instil confidence among party workers, the TMC is yet to chalk out a concrete plan. Meanwhile, the TMC administration which is grappling with the COVID-19 situation and attacks by the BJP on political violence which has killed the saffron party workers, retaining the seat of power for the TMC remains a challenge.
Shah skipped a visit to Bihar during the recently concluded Assembly elections and yet the party won a majority over their ally JD(U) in the NDA alliance, instead choosing to visit West Bengal to take charge of election preparations, shows the BJP’s aggression in capturing West Bengal.
Both the BJP and TMC are working overtime to gain voter confidence, moreso the Hindu votes, which until recently were not a major concern for Mamata. Confident of securing minority votes, the TMC now has the challenge of curbing Hindu votes which are likely to turn in BJP’s favour.