Desperate times call for desperate measures. Such is the case with West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, who has now approached her arch-rivals, Congress and the CPI(M) to join her in her fight against BJP in Bengal.
While speaking during the debate on the governor’s address in the state assembly Mamata Banerjee said, “The people of the state are witnessing in Bhatpara what happens if you vote for the BJP. I feel all of us (TMC, Congress and CPI(M)) should come together in the fight against the BJP. It doesn’t mean we have to join hands politically, but on common issues at the national level, we can come together.”
The TMC supremo accused BJP of trying to run a parallel government and bringing in an alien culture in West Bengal. “Central government is trying to run parallel administration. From the last five years, we are fighting and we will continue to fight. We did not want post-poll violence. BJP had run parallel administration as police and all was under the Election Commission,” Banerjee said.
However, coming as a big letdown, the two parties have rejected her appeal saying her policies are responsible for the saffron party’s growth in Bengal. Senior Congress leader from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that it is Mamata Banerjee’s habit to say something and gom back on her words, saying it’s her nature. He said that if the WB CM was serious, she would have talked to Congress leadership directly.
What is strange here is that Mamata Banerjee who rose to power in West Bengal in 2011 by ousting the CPI(M) has always been a staunch critic of the left party. There have been innumerable instances where Mamata has in the past fulminated against the communists.
In the run-up to the West Bengal Assembly elections in 2011, Mamata had accused the then-ruling CPI(M) of having ‘looted crores’ in West Bengal over the last three decades. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had then said all ‘dirty deals’ would be probed if her party comes to power.
On July 19, 2011, a day after the historic Darjeeling accord was signed, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had gone all out, lashing at the CPI(M) and regional parties based in north Bengal for opposing the treaty. In 2016 also Mamata had hit out at the left government, accusing it of “leaving behind the ideology of Marx and Lenin for a few seats”.
Moreover, the relationship between Mamata and the Congress party has always been an opportunistic and hedonistic one. There have been instances where Congress president has extended Twitter-based ‘shoulder to shoulder’ support to West Bengal Chief Minister against CBI probe in Saradha chit fund scam, whereas on the other hand, the state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary has gone ahead and called the WB CM a ‘chameleon’, ‘trojan horse’ and ‘dictator’.
Similarly, in February this year, while Rahul Gandhi was quick to lend his support to the Trinamool supremo, over the drama that transpired over the detainment of CBI officials by the state police, making a remarkable U-Turn from his earlier stand on the matter where he had accused her of protecting the accused, the state unit had planned to organise a massive rally against the TMC government for their alleged involvement in chit fund scams.
In fact prior to the Lok Sabah elections, while Rahul Gandhi had expressed his support for Mamata Banerjee to call upon the opposition leaders for “United India Rally”, the Congress state unit had expressed its strong disapproval of allying with Mamata Banerjee’s party.
Also, Mamata Banerjee has probably chosen to forget those days when she went hammer and tongs against the Congress accusing them of bowing their heads to CPI(M) which had once used “abusive words” against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Probably, the anxiety TMC supremo is undergoing after BJP has successfully penetrated into West Bengal securing 18 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections has forced Mamata to look the other way.