West Bengal assembly election is scheduled to take place in April-May 2021. The state was under CPIM rule for three long decades until 2011 when the left citadel was finally breached by the Mamata Banerjee led TMC. TMC was re-elected in 2016 with an even larger majority, leaving the Left parties to slow death. But slowly, TMC adopted the ‘Communist character’ of using street violence against political rivals. Last day the national president of BJP JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked by the hooligans of TMC during his trip to Bengal. The state governor Jagdeep Dhankar had out in open to express his dissatisfaction over the deteriorating law and order situation in West Bengal. Mamata’s arrogance hit the wall after the results of the Lok Sabha election came out. Now, her party is facing an uphill task of fight the 2021 assembly election against a resurgent BJP.
TMC has been losing leaders to the BJP since the past few years. Many of these leaders left TMC due to Mamata’s dictatorial work style. Her most trusted lieutenant Mukul Roy left TMC to join BJP in 2017. He brought many dissatisfied leaders from the TMC and played an important role in the party’s victory 2019 LS polls. Now, an influential TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari has resigned from the State cabinet and along with him, many TMC MLAs are speculated to tender their resignation. Post the 2019 electoral debacle, Mamata had roped in political strategist Prashant Kishor to boost her party’s political prospectus. Instead of being beneficial, Kishor along with Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee started a parallel power centre which has irked many elected members of the Trinamool.
Mamata was very particular of preserving her Muslim vote bank. Her administration is accused of issuing legal documents to illegal Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators and Rohingya Muslims. She opposed CAA to keep her vote bank happy. But now, Owaisi’s AIMIM is entering Bengal after their spectacular performance in the Muslim Majority areas in Bihar where they won 5 seats. AIMIM is expected to ally with an influential Islamic cleric Abbas Siddique. Taking Mamata head-on, the AIMIM chief said “If she is saying our party is getting money to divide minority votes, and then I would like to tell her that nobody can buy Asaduddin Owaisi by offering money. Her allegations are baseless and she has become a victim of restlessness. She should care about her party. So many of TMC members are joining BJP, she should be worrying about it.” Muslims constitute 35 per cent of West Bengal’s total population.
There have been many instances of the state trying to interfere with Durga Puja while giving a freehand to the Mullas to organise their festivals. Madarsas are given freebies while Hindu religious institutions are neglected under Mamata’s raj. These appeasement politics has awakened Hindus in the state and this reflected in the LS 2019 elections, where the vote percentage between TMC and BJP was mere 3%. With the Home Minister Amit Shah announcing an NRC in West Bengal, the Hindu majority will find it important to flush out illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants.
More than a 100 activists of BJP have been killed by the goons of TMC in West Bengal. There are instances of the police not accepting complaints about TMC hooliganism in the state. Regarding the deteriorating law and order situation in Bengal, veteran journalist Nandagopam K.M tweeted “Bengal has descended into an era of tyranny, anarchy and darkness under the Trinamool rule… The manner in which political violence has been institutionalised and brought to the extreme in West Bengal under TMC rule worst.” Senior Journalist Kanchan Gupta had called for the deployment of central forces in Bengal to ensure law and order.
With the Congress and the left parties staring at total irrelevance in West Bengal, the 2021 assembly election will witness a direct clash between BJP and TMC. A weakened TMC will find it hard to fight an election powerhouse like BJP. Keeping in mind her party’s current condition, Mamata had been deployment all means to stop the rise of BJP. She uses state machinery to keep a check on leaders who leave TMC in the form of police cases, vigilance enquiry and so on. There is not even a single favourable factor that can help Mamata to retain her chair. In short- Mamata is a few months away from becoming the former CM of West Bengal.