Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal, Pradip Bhattacharya wrote a letter to NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, expressing his concern over both the heavyweight leaders possibly campaigning for Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress for the upcoming West Bengal Legislative Assembly elections. Bhattacharya, a 2nd term Rajya Sabha MP representing West Bengal, speculates in his letter that the presence of “Star Campaigners” like Sharad Pawar and Tejashwi Yadav will “create confusion among West Bengal voters”.
Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya writes to NCP’s Sharad Pawar & RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav over campaigning with Trinamool Congress, for #WestBengalElections2021— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2021
“Your presence as Star Campaigners will create confusion among West Bengal voters. Avoid campaigning for TMC,” he said
In his letter, Mr. Bhattacharya explicitly requests both Sharad Pawar and Tejashwi Yadav to not campaign on behalf of Mamata Banerjee’s TMC. In the run up to these elections, multiple Congress allies, whether at the Central level or in state governments, have distanced themselves from Congress, choosing to support the Trinamool Congress instead. The foremost reasoning of Congress’s multiple allies seems to stem from the fact that Mamata’s TMC, which is presently governing West Bengal, is the strongest bulwark against the so-called “communal forces” of the BJP.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), an ally of the Congress in Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan and Jharkhand’s UPA government, has already backed TMC earlier this month. After meeting Mamata Banerjee, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at the time said, “This is a battle for values. Laluji ka nirnay hai Mamataji ko full support karna hai (Laluji has decided that we should fully support Mamata ji). We will stand by her wherever we can. This is a larger fight to stop communal forces from dividing our nation.” Mr. Yadav further went on to add, ““Bengal has a lot of Hindi-speaking people from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. I would appeal to everyone to back Mamata Didi with all our strength to ensure her win. We support her in her fight for Bengal’s language, culture, literature.”
The 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly elections are scheduled to be held between 27 March to 29 April 2021 in 8 phases. These elections are a three-way political battle between the coalitions of the Trinamool Congress along with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the NDA with BJP at its helm along with five hill based Gorkha parties and All Jharkhand Students Union, and the Sanyukta Morcha with the Congress party at its helm along with its once arch-rival Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Islamist Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front (ISF).