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Ghost of polarization to haunt Mamata after BJP storms West Bengal bastion

  • Published at 08:37 pm May 24th, 2019
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File photo: Chief Minister of the eastern state of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, attends the "Save Democracy"rally to protest against India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government in New Delhi, India, February 13, 2019 Reuters

West Bengal witnessed a saffron surge on May 23 with the BJP winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state

Both the Left front and Congress have been accusing West Bengal Chief Minister and the Trinamool Congrees head Mamata Banerjee of facilitating BJP’s entry into West Bengal by “feeding the politics of polarisation.”

Mamata Banerjee has called an emergency meeting of her party leaders at her home on Saturday following the saffron surge in the state of West Bengal during the Lok Sabha polls, reports The Hindu.

“Our party supremo will be meeting victorious candidates as well as those who lost the polls. District presidents and other senior leaders will also be present at the meeting. We will discuss the election results and take stock of both our weaknesses and strengths,” a senior Trinamool leader said Friday.

“The results came as a rude shock to all of us. We couldn’t anticipate such a mandate against us... We need to rectify the mistakes and reach out to the masses before it is too late,” he said.

West Bengal witnessed a saffron surge on May 23 with the BJP winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the State, up from two in 2014.

With its advancement in Odisha and Bengal, the BJP has completed its mission of winning East India successfully. Though the party has its footprint all over the country now, winning West Bengal has special significance. 

Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury had issued a statement recently saying that Left is committed to fight both TMC and BJP as they are helping each other grow.

West Bengal has around 30% Muslim population and more than a dozen bordering districts. “If BJP is advancing and prospering on Saturday in Bengal it is because of Mamata ji who has shrunk the secular space here,” said Congress leader Adheer Ranjan Chaudhary.

The West Bengal chief minister had made it clear in her rallies that she “will not allow even the ‘N’ of NRC” in the state. However, the BJP has made it clear that it will take the political battle seriously in Bengal. “We will not tolerate politics of appeasement and bring the law to throw out intruders,” Amit Shah had said in his rallies.

 As Mamata Banerjee braces for a long and grueling battle, she will surely be confronted by the ghost of polarization.

Trinamool won 22 seats, down from 34 in 2014.

While the Trinamool was able to clinch 43.28% of the vote share counted so far, the saffron party bagged 40.25%.