In the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections which were comprehensibly won by NDA and where BJP alone crossed the majority mark, the party also showed remarkable performance in West Bengal. BJP had not much presence in the state earlier and faced massive violent opposition from Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee. Despite all the odds, BJP won 18 out of total 42 seats in West Bengal, and although TMC won 22 seats, it was still considered a setback for the party because BJP went from 2 seats in 2014 to 18 in just 5 years.
The results have rattled the Mamata led TMC, one evidence of which was seen when a pro-TMC newspaper abused the people in North Bengal for voting for BJP. On 26th May, Bengali newspaper Khabar 365 Din, which is known as a TMC mouthpiece, published a report on its front page titled ‘Baiman Paharibasira’, which translates to ‘corrupt hill dwellers’. The report alleged that in 8 years, the tribal boards received Rs 5500 crore from Mamata, and the boards were indulging in corruption. The newspaper said that despite receiving development packages, the tribal boards betrayed Mamata Banerjee and voted for BJP.
Most of BJP’s wins came from North Bengal and the tribal belt known as Junglemahal, and from the Khabar 365 Din report, it was evident that the party was attacking the people living in those areas for voting for BJP. The report stated that the hill people don’t want development, they only want money. And that’s why they forgot developments done by Mamata Banerjee after they took money from BJP.
It may be noted that Khabar 365 Din is owned by the Rose Valley group, which is very close to Mamata Banerjee’s TMC. The company is facing investigations for the Rose Valley chit fund scam, along with the Saradha chit fund scam.
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chairman Anit Thapa raised strong objections to the language used by the newspaper. In a press release issued today, Thapa said, “I strongly protest against the offensive headline used by a Bengali newspaper, in which they have labelled various Boards as being ‘Baimaan”.
He said that hill people voted for BJP due to support for Gorkhaland demand. He requested the media to stop scolding people for not voting for TMC, saying “I request entire Bengali newspapers to stop name calling the entire hill people, and to stop blaming and scolding them.”