The third phase of West Bengal elections 2021 is all set to be held on April 6th (Tuesday). As constituencies get ready to cast their votes, Mamata Banerjee, who has been playing on a weak wicket this election cycle, has given a call to action to her Muslim ‘brothers and sisters’.
ANI reported that Mamata Banerjee during an election rally in North 24 Parganas, has urged her Muslim brothers and sisters to not allow division of votes.
I request to all the minority brothers and sisters not to allow their vote division: West Bengal CM & TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in North 24 Parganas pic.twitter.com/58O7KqAbu7— ANI (@ANI) April 3, 2021
Mamata Banerjee, who has spent the entire election cycle blaming the BJP of playing ‘divisive politics’ merely for chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’, has now displayed the pinnacle of secularism by giving a call to Muslims to vote as a united faction.
It would seem like Mamata Banerjee, who might be facing the prospect of defeat, is now scared of her Muslim vote bank getting divided. In the Bengal Assembly Elections, though the battle to rule the state is between TMC and BJP, there are two other factions that are vying for Muslim votes in the state.
The first party is that of Asaduddin Owaisi. AIMIM, while unable to garner sweeping support from the Muslim population in West Bengal, stands to make gains in the state at the cost of TMC Muslim votes. The other faction that is posing a threat to Muslim consolidation behind Mamata Banerjee is the CPIM, Congress and Abbas Siddiqui alliance. Abbas Siddiqui is said to have a significant sway over at least 30-35 seats in Bengal.
With these two factions at play, Mamata Banerjee may have a hard time consolidating her Muslim vote bank. With more and more polls giving BJP the edge in the state, a jittery Mamata has now resorted to openly calling for Muslim vote consolidation, essentially asking them to vote for TMC and not get swayed by Abbas Siddiqui or Asaduddin Owaisi.
Only a few days ago, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seemed to have conceded that she can’t defeat BJP on her own, and therefore sought help from all the opposition parties in combating BJP. Mamata Banerjee sent a letter to all the major opposition parties asking them to come together to defeat BJP. The letter had come just after the first phase of polling in the state, indicating Mamata’s worry and lack of confidence in retaining power in West Bengal.
The letter was sent to 15 non-BJP leaders including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK chief MK Stalin, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav as well as NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. Mamata Banerjee in the letter states, “I am writing this letter to you, and to several leaders of non-BJP parties, to convey my serious concerns over a series of assaults by the BJP and its government at the Centre on democracy and Constitutional Federalism in India.”