With the BJP making inroads into the Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is resorting to all sorts of political messaging to woo voters, especially Hindus as she has now decided to celebrate ‘Ram Navami’ festivals years after arresting people for observing the Hindu festival in the state.
Reportedly, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders participated in Ram Navami rallies, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and activists have also begun to display their ‘soft’ Hindutva by participating in Ram Navami rallies across West Bengal. In North-Bengal, TMC party workers participated in armed rallies to celebrate Ram Navami.
Several top TMC leaders, including few candidates and ministers, were seen in these rallies. Kanhaiyalal Agarwal, a TMC candidate from North Bengal’s Raiganj, was seen at a rally along with party workers carrying arms. However, Agarwal said it was not his responsibility to monitor the rally. “If anything is wrong in the rally, it is the job of the administration to initiate appropriate action,” he said.
TMC ministers Arup Roy, Ashish Banerjee and Gautam Deb were all present at these rallies. Deb claimed that they were “not doing any politics” connecting the elections with the rallies, adding, “TMC does not need to do that to win elections”.
After facing backlash for indulging in minority appeasement and the alleged killing of Hindus in the state, Mamata Banerjee had resorted to indulging in soft-Hindutva to appease Hindus. In 2017, Mamata Banerjee who was at a peak in her Muslim appeasement politics had arrested Hindutva organisations for observing Ram Navami in the state. Last year, the armed Ram Navami rallies were banned in the state. Interestingly, just two days back she had even criticised the Ram Navami rallies carried out by the BJP in the state.
With the rise of saffron organizations in the state and worried about its image as a minority appeasing party, Trinamool Congress, like Rahul Gandhi, is catering to Hindu sentiments to maintain her hold on power.
The recent upsurge of popularity of the BJP in West Bengal with the party making inroads in the rural Bengal has surely unnerved Mamata Banerjee, which could seriously affect her political ambitions of being Prime Minister of the country in the future. The anxiety of Mamata Banerjee has been manifested lately as she has often resorted to personal attacks against the BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.