The West Bengal politics has been gaining heat with Congress also jumping into the political fray, where the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP are already fighting a ferocious battle for power. OpIndia reached out to Congress leader Haji Mohabbat Khan in Khidirpur, a Muslim dominated area in the state, for his take on the socio-political scenario in the state ahead of the Assembly polls.
Speaking to OpIndia, the Congress leader declared that the incumbent Trinamool Congress Government led by Didi (Mamata Banerjee) cannot free West Bengal from the clutches of the communal BJP. For this, the people have to vote for the Congress party, as it is the only political party in the state which can tackle BJP’s growing populism in West Bengal.
He said that he has been following Bengal politics from the time when Mamata Banerjee was the general secretary of the Indian Youth Congress in 1984. He said that he and his people had always been loyal to Mamata Banerjee. At that time they all fought together against the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front which was in power in the state for an unbroken 34 years. However, Mamata Banerjee had a fallout with the Congress after which she floated the Trinamool Congress party.
Then, the public who were already tired of the Left Front ruling the state decided to give the reigns of the state in the hands of Mamata Banerjee. However, TMC gradually started accepting all CPI-M goons in the party.
Saying this, the Congress leader asserts that if the Left Front could rule West Bengal for 34 years, it was only because of the drawbacks of the Congress party. They were not aggressive enough to keep CPI-M at bay. This is why when Mamata Floated her new party, the people of West Bengal immediately out their weight behind her with the hope that she would bring a refreshing change in the state.
In what could be seen as an attempt to woo the voters of the state, the Congress leader says that what the people of West Bengal think today, the people of other states view it 50 years later. So today the people of Bengal want a new government at the helm of affairs on the state. Saying so, Haji Mohabbat Khan endorsed a Congress govt in the poll-bound state.
“Didi imaandar hain, lekin dada log toh baimaan hain” (Even if Mamata Banerjee is faithful, the other party members are not), said Khan, furthering that while camapigning for the upcoming 2021 Assembly elections, the TMC representatives are seeking votes in the name of Mamata Banerjee, not on their own merit. They should try to woo voters based on their own reputation, not by encashing Mamata Banerjee’s name and clout.
The Congress leader reiterates that if ‘communal BJP’ has to be stopped from making successful inroads in West Bengal, then Congress is the only hope.
When OpIndia asked the Congress minister about his take on the political killings in the state, the baton of which has passed from the Congress Party to the CPM and now to TMC, Khan said that these have been happening all over India after Modi came to power in 2014. He opines that the Modi government and his supporters, who have envisioned India as a Hindu nation, has legitimatized violence in India, once a beacon of secularism, by polarising the country.
“Modiji chahate hain is baag mein sirf ek hi tarah ka phool khile” (Modi wants that only one type of flower should bloom in the garden) says the Congress leader, implying that Modi wants to make India a Hindu Rashtra.
Terming RSS, Bajrang Dal and various other Hindu outfits as “goonda dal” (team of goons), the Congress leader hits out saying that Modi under the influence of such outfits is damaging the country’s secular foundations.
Taking a similar jibe at the Mamata Banrejee led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, the Congress leader furthers that the goons who have entered the party are not interested in the upliftment, growth and well being of the people of the state, they are simply interested in “Haram ho ya halal ho humme paisa chaiye” (They want money, for that, they are not bothered whether they are doing haram or halal). “Jitna barbadi utna power, isliye woh log loot raha hain” (the more the destruction, more power, this is why they are plundering the state).
Congress leader Haji Mohabbat Khan confesses that in 2011, the Congress government at the Centre had instructed them to do whatever it takes to topple the CPM government and bring Mamata Banerjee to power in the state of West Bengal. We had then given our unconditional support to Mamata Banerjee’s TMC Party and ensured that Mamata Banerjee rose to power ending Left Front’s uninterrupted 34-year-old rule in the state.
“We had followed the instructions word by word. We brought the TMC to power in West Bengal. We trusted her. The poor party cadres stayed hungry, starved but yet gave their drop of their blood and sweat to get her to that position. We had thought that if didi (Mamata) comes to power West Bengal and its Bengalis would prosper, but nothing like that happened.
Here the Congress leader reiterates that if people want to get rid of the BJP government at the Centre, then people have to back Congress and not TMC.
Ahead of the upcoming polls in West Bengal, the Congress party has joined hands with rabid Islamist forces in the State. With an eye to gain political mileage and strengthen its hold over the Muslim vote bank, it has allied with Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front (ISF). The Congress party yields have a strong influence in Muslim-dominated areas of Malda, Murshidabad, and North Dinajpur in North Bengal. And the addition of Abbas Siddiqui to the political alliance will help win over young Muslim voters in South Bengal.
This is despite the fact that Abbas Siddiqui has exhibited his radical Islamist views in the past. During the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus in the world, a video of Abbas Siddiqui shot on February 26 last year had gone viral on social media. He was seen addressing a large gathering of followers and praying to Allah to kill 50 crore Indians with the virus. Siddiqui’s incendiary rhetoric, fear-mongering and calls for ‘divine intervention’ for the death of Hindus have been conveniently ignored by the Congress party.
While Congress has been thriving on Muslim appeasement and has sided with Abbas Siddiqui, it is interesting to note that the party has refrained from allying with the Owaisi due to its ‘extreme rhetorics’.