With Crucial Assembly Polls Nearing, LS Wary TMC 'Treading Cautiously'

With Crucial Assembly Polls Nearing, LS Wary TMC 'Treading Cautiously'

Robin RoyUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 10:48 AM IST
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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee | PTI

Despite whatever Bihar CM Nitish Kumar did to hurt the INDIA Bloc sentiments for the record, Bihar will always remain the cradle of the Bloc, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's name would be mentioned as one of the main architects of the Bloc.

With high-octane campaigning on for the last phase, which will be held on June 1, it is time to assess how the Bloc constituents bonded with each other, the subsequent hiccups that jolted the alliance, and how the Lok Sabha results would have an impact on states.

While Bihar Assembly elections are slated for 2025, West Bengal's crucial state polls will be held in 2026. While the West Bengal CM triggered a political cyclone on Monday by making it clear that she would not be attending the Bloc meeting, we take a look at how the party and the government's path has been following its superfluous win in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Even as the BJP had claimed 200 seats in the polls, Prashant Kishor, the famed psephologist who was employed by the then TMC regime, had predicted the Saffron party tally would be below the magical three-figure and finally the BJP had to be satisfied with 77 seats. However, currently for the BJP, anti-corruption is a major poll plank in West Bengal that has helped it corner the TMC for the better part of the three years since Mamata Banerjee romped home in style in the 2021 elections.

Apart from the alleged school jobs scam, in which TMC leaders have been arrested, the Mamata Banerjee-led party has also been under the scanner in alleged coal and cattle smuggling cases and the alleged municipal jobs and ration distribution scams.

A lot of time was spent on the slugfest between the TMC and the BJP-led Centre in a face-off over the alleged withholding of Central funds. The BJP has alleged that this happened because of alleged irregularities in the implementation of the schemes, something the TMC has denied.

Meanwhile, the court's order on the school job case, which came in the middle of the Lok Sabha elections, was a massive setback for the TMC and the party had raised the decibel, saying that not all should lose their jobs. The government has also said it will move the Supreme Court.

CM Mamata had said that it is not mandatory to accept all verdicts. We will challenge the order in the higher court. This order was passed as per the BJP's instructions amid the elections. The BJP and other parties have attempted to corner the government and demand the CM's resignation.

BJP's Tamluk candidate, retired judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay, had said, The real culprits are sitting in the top positions of the state administration. if they have the courage and any shame left in them, they should quit their positions of power and face investigations."

Then came the trouble with the monks. While addressing a rally, PM Modi said, "The Bengal chief minister is openly threatening ISKCON, RKM, and BSS monks. They have millions of devotees around the world and their only mission is to serve people. The Bengal government has raised a finger at them, threatening them by taking their names. Such audacity!"

Modi alleged that Banerjee's words were meant only to please the TMC's 'vote bank'. He sharpened the attack from his next rally at Bishnupur in Bankura district.

"The TMC has now started abusing monks who have devoted themselves to serving humanity. The world knows about the work of ISKCON, RKM and BSS. They brought Bengal fame and pride. They stood by people in times of happiness and sorrow. But the chief minister says these organisations are ruining the country," said PM Modi.

The development also boosted Bengal's saffron camp. While all senior BJP leaders have started targeting the TMC on this issue, its sister organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), had called for a protest rally in Kolkata on May 24 under the banner of Bangiya Sanyasi Samaj. However, all eyes are on June 1 now. Till then, vote wisely. And currently, all eyes are on June 1 elections, especially because West Bengal is going to the polls in 2026.

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