BJP's Take Home Lessons from 2021 West Bengal Election: All 7 parts
West Bengal Elections 2021 results have some very hard lessons to learn. To a political party whom several senior party leaders deserted because of disillusionment of autocratic functioning, whose Muslim vote bank decides to ally with other parties, can still manage to get the same vote percentage what it had earlier? Surely yes. That is what happened in West Bengal Election 2021. After Mamata Banerjee appealed all non-BJP parties to unite to defeat BJP while the voting process was going on, amply indicates of electoral malpractices having been committed. A tacit understanding was reached between Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and the Congress, CPI and radical Muslim group alliance, to vote for TMC only. This is a fraud that only an investigation can unearth as to how most of all those votes went to the TMC. It is not a miracle but a well hatched electoral conspiracy that the CEC must investigate in right earnest and derecognize the party if found to have defrauded the electoral system. This is not only about TMC and BJP but has some very significant connotations for all future elections too, whether of the State Assemblies or the Parliament.
In the West Bengal Election 2021, Mamata Banerjee and her TMC has amply demonstrated that if you want to win elections despite you being abandoned by own party workers, the political party must possess the art and mathematical science what Mamata Banerjee and her family venture TMC inherits…
- Have a brutal cadre to threaten, instill fear to general populace.
- Look-after your vote bank. Shelter them from others.
- Use State ‘law & order machinery’ to instill fear among political opponents.
- Develop a syndicate that can handle corruptions, scams money.
- Show two finger to your opponent/adversaries trying to take on.
- Be authoritarian, ultra-regionalist, suppressor of opposition…be Fascist in short.
- Seek vote in the name of community, so what if constitution bars it?
1. Have a Brutal Cadre
This is the basic block for TMC electoral power. The Communists had it in the past. Their cadre was ruthless in prevailing upon anyone…esp the ones having different ideologies. That was the basic infrastructures the communists built-up with highly intolerant goons among the cadre with which they held on to powers for nearly 35 yrs in West Bengal. Those goons used to issue intense warnings to the general populace against having any sympathy of affinity with the political adversaries and if they did not heed, kill some to instill fears. This is the type of cadres the present day “Jihadists” have. When the persecuted public declared enough is enough in 2011 elections, the goon elements shifted en-mass to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the result on the general population is the same that were seen in the Communist days. The fear factor among the adversaries / opponent were so glaring that in 2018 Panchayat elections of West Bengal, out of a total 58692 posts, 20159 had remained uncontested as no one dared to file nomination against the TMC goons for a very clear threat. These threats are worse than the Jihadi led threats & violence in Kashmir valley.
All agencies aware of the fear factor of the Goon-forces, miscalculated its likely impacts. The unseen force which prevented people from filing nomination in 2018, was perceptible even now. Any person or family who are believed to be supporters of other parties, are firstly threatened for life if they went to vote. Election Commission deployed security forces in and around the booths but what about the threats at their residence, a day prior to the election? The deployed forces would retreat with the completion of election, but who will save them the next day? It may seem like a horror story plot but that is the reality in West Bengal society and Suvendu Adhikari should have known that. This is how the CPI and later TMC goons operated. No sooner the results started coming, these goons knew that their authorities have been restored by TMC win and immediately it was shown in their action when they set some of the BJP offices ablaze. These TMC cadre started committing against the BJP supporters…of murders, rapes, molestations… in the few days after the elections as alleged not only by BJP workers but multiple sources of witness and media. TMC win has bolstered the cadre’s belief that they can commit crime with impunity and that the law & order machineries of the State will do nothing against them…like those in the past. It must have been the first instance in independent India that the Governor of the state was seen crying, helpless against the post poll violence against the majority community of the state when he visited one such locality where the TMC goons of minority faith (but having the peronage of the ruling party TMC) had committed heinous crimes against the majority community. A inconsolable mother was crying beside her having lost her adult son because he was the worker of BJP. The editor has no information if the govt at centre or state has taken any credible action against the perpetrators.
Helpless, the BJP supporters were bearing the brunt. They are being threatened for life, honour and properties to the extent that almost nearly 400 BJP supporters have fled to Dhubri, Assam leaving behind their home, farm and livestock. Many of them have also been attacked. Brutality of the TMC goons have crossed all limits. It is so unfortunate that another Kashmir like situation is developing in West Bengal and the Union Govt is acting like a spineless creature.
Modi govt is devoid of such brutal cadre inherited by Mamata Banerjee from the Communists. Among BJP, there is actually none so brutal. Otherwise, the 136 political murders of the BJP workers and leaders could have been avenged with double the killings of TMC functionaries that could have sent some shivers to the goon-queen esp when you know that the local police are partisan. However, BJP is considered too human, too democratic, too tolerant, to have NOT reacted. Hence, if Modi govt wants to win election like Mamata, they must develop the brutal cadre who must instill fear among the political and ideological opponents and adversaries…just like TMC. BJP claims of having the largest cadre of workers in the world. Hence, they could take-home this Mamata lesson…make some percentage of cadre like TMC goons and use the force in similar way Mamata is using. If BJP manages to develop even half the percentage that of TMC in to the brutal force, the entire ‘TMC goon force’ can be annihilated in no time to free the general populace of the fear. Then there will be no more of glaring attacks on other political party workers holding meetings, rallies or any other democratic means…be it Babul Supriyo coming for function been roughed-up; Governor, the Univ Chancellor going for convocation been blocked or a political party president motorcade been attacked. This is a take home message for the BJP party president. It could have huge impact in any future elections esp in West Bengal.
At present, the BJP does not have a dedicated cadre of TMC-like goons anywhere in India. There could be some hooligans who could take law in their hands but they are individuals, no group. Could the hardline Bajrang Dal in north or Sri Ram Sene in south be groomed to fit in the role? Unlikely. These groups have their broad objective of preventing the mass conversion of Hindu. RSS is a nationalistic movement will never indulge in goon acts. So who can fit in to the brutal goon-cadre? BJP party president has to decide. However, some resistance by the BJP workers are apparently being shown in WB. Some of them are believed to be trying to come out in self defence. TMC on 04 May 21 claimed that some of their workers to have been attacked and killed. This seems to be a retaliatory move, if true. If a just action is not taken immediately by the state…fair to both BJP & TMC, West Bengal could be expected descend in to a Civil War.
The author in no way intends to support violence. The purpose in this write-up is to suggest reciprocation. If the TMC and Mamata Banerjee feels that its cadre is angel, then BJP must also have similar angel. If those TMC angels feel they are showering flowers on to the political adversaries, the same must be reciprocated by the BJP cadre also. The whole idea should be that the BJP workers or for that purpose any citizen must be able to defend their lives, honour and properties if the partisan police is not protecting. The attackers must have the taste of own recipe. In other term a tit for tat or in civilized words a QPQ.
Take Home Lessons from 2021 West Bengal Election:
2. Look after your Vote Bank
Look-after your Vote bank. There are many good, well educated, eminent citizen who are the fully dedicated TMC supporters but they are just handful, far and few. However, the TMC ‘Vote-Bank’ consists of fairly large numbers of lunatic & criminal elements along with substantial illegal migrant Muslims from Bangladesh and/or Myanmar. It must be mentioned here that a large section of Indian Muslims is as patriotic as any other nationalist. Many of them also have allegiance to many other political parties including BJP. It is another matter that many political parties treat them as ‘vote banks’ just for one reason…that they have a tendency to be guided by community leaders who dictate them whom to vote.
The specially nicknamed ‘Muslim Vote-Bank’ constitutes of illegal migrants, largely dependent upon party favours. In Bengal, TMC office-bearers provide them with a basic fake identity (like Ration Cards, BPL cards, Electricity/LPG Bills) through their influence machineries at the local levels. Based on these document, they obtain other IDs like Aadhar, Driving License (DL), PAN, Passport and so on. With these documents they drain our PDS food & supplies, enjoy the benefits meant for the genuine citizen and also register as voters. The TMC party workers collude in the process of issuing fake IDs. This was believed to be the modus operandii in Assam too, that enabled most of the illegal migrants to obtain citizenship based on fake IDs by the contemporary Congress Govt. Needless to say that some local officials with questionable integrity also colluded in issuing the IDs. Surely, police did not do their job of credible verifications for whatever reasons…mostly by being paid pennies in bribes. Hence, it can be said with reasonable confidence that corrupt politicians, officials and police have compromised our national security by enabling the illegal migrants to get fake citizenship of India.
Earlier, post partition in 1947, many of the radical Muslims belonging to Jamat-e-islamia migrated to Pakistan but sizable numbers remained in India joining the cadre of the Communist. Anti-India activities have been in their blood and large proportions of their ‘Gen-next’ retain those ideologies. Muslim vote bank has traditionally been with the Congress or the Communist, offering them with small sops & favours as if throwing few pieces of bones before dogs to keep them quiet. Muslims have very strong community feelings for fellow Muslims the world over, illegal migrants or otherwise. India is no exception in this regard. Mamata Banerjee’s appeasement sops to the community has been known…HUJI is ruling the roost in all border districts with Bangladesh. Other radical groups facing heat by the current Bangladesh govt have found shelters in West Bengal. Incidents of attacks/grabbing of the land and properties belonging to Hindu residents and temples have been common in Murshidabad, Malda, North and South Dinajpur as well as in Nadia. These incidents have especially increased since 2016 and Mamata administration has conveniently looked the other way. Telinipara attack by the Muslims on the Hindu locality was brushed under the carpet by Mamata Govt until the Governor took the cognizance (Refer ‘The Counterviews’; Issue 2:11). Muslims burnt down a police station in Kalichak, Malda and Mamata instructed her administration not to take action. On one hand she has been encouraging the illegal migrant Muslims saying she will not permit NRC in the state and on the other, she is denying citizenship to the religiously persecuted Hindu of Bangladesh who were made to flee only because of being Hindu.
A controversial Muslim cleric, Abdul Barkati, Imam of the ‘Tipu Sultan Mosque’ in Calcutta, provoked Muslims not to obey Indian laws. To begin with, he refused to dismantle the red beacon on his vehicle. Similar statements by Muslim religious leaders close to Mamata appeared to have added fuel to the simmering fire. Muslim clerics have been given Imam Batta, the monthly stipend in a brazen act of appeasement. When pressure mounted on her, she extended it to some of the temples also. On one hand, she bans Durga Puja rituals and on the other, promotes Muharram; she Imposed lock-down on Ram Navami but relaxed it on Bakrid…there are slew of such ridiculous acts by Mamata which stink of her appeasement policy to her vote bank…the Muslims.
The TMC vote bank also consists of the substantial numbers of the Maoist & Communist criminals whom the Communist leaders sheltered in their ranks & file. Mostly these are the people whom the erstwhile leadership protected the most…giving as much importance as the jihadi elements and illegal migrants enjoyed. They are the ones who can commit grave atrocities when hinted to do so by the leadership. At the strict directions of the TMC leadership, hardly even any FIR is registered against them by names. Police applies all pressure on the complainants to omit naming them on the pretext of reprisals. Hence, seldom any such names figure in the already fewer FIRs lodged. Most of these people have illegal means of earning beyond the police records…namely extorsion. The entire vote bank of TMC is believed to have been assured that the party will always stand with them whenever in need. They have apparently been assured of no police action against them. This is why possibly police has stopped bothering about them knowing that the TMC leadership will not let them investigate nor let them remain in custody…leave alone any hope of convicting or putting them in jail.
Using the ‘vote-bank’ for electoral gain has been practiced rampantly in India right after the independence. Nehru kept back a sizable number of Muslims in India despite a separate nation ‘Pakistan’ created for them. Since there was no such term as ‘vote bank politics’ those days that could have put Nehru and Congress in dock, he continued exploiting the vote-bank. In fact, the community was given to understand that Muslims are safe only with Congress. Hence, they have been traditional vote bank of Congress till the smaller and regional parties tried to exploit the Muslim votes in recent decades. The main among such exploiters were the Islamic parties in Assam, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir and the Southern states, Samajvadi party (SP) in UP, Rastriya Janta Dal (RJD) in Bihar who conveniently formed an unholy Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) alliance and the latest in the series is TMC which has overtly favored Muslim votes even at the cost of the national security…to challenge NRC. Vote-Bank has also been created on the caste lines…such as Bahujan Samaj Party for the Dalit Class, family-based SP & RJD for the Yadavs.
Illegal Muslims and hard-core TMC goons know that BJP will never stand with them. Hence, they will avoid becoming BJP’s vote-bank in the first place and if for some reason, they do, it will be a fragile conditional relationship for two reasons. Firstly, BJP will never allow its vote bank to be criminals with anti-national mindset and secondly, it will never allow threats to the nation-loving majority Hindu that these elements pose…this is unlike Congress, communists or TMC. It is up to the party president JP Nadda to think as to who should become their vote bank. BJP may like to take some tutorial from the Congress, Communists and the TMC having huge experience in this regard.
TMC has grasped the vote bank politics quite well from the Communists. Every time there are any aid, relief, welfare contribution by any agencies with cash or in kind, TMC make its vote bank the beneficiary, both as distributors and the recipients. They indulged in massive corruptions and nepotism in distribution of cyclone reliefs, disaster aid among own relatives and vote-bank. They had a fair share of the booty that Mamata had clearly acknowledged when she asked her workers to go slow on the 10% commission-(cut)money scam. Recently after the massive aid was received by the WB govt following cyclone Amphan, substantial amount of it is believed to have gone to TMC’s cadre and their ‘vote bank’, denying the same to many of the genuine and deserving beneficiaries. How much of it had gone to the bandit queen herself, is not known. While forwarding this issue of the magazine for publishing, it is understood that she has demanded Rs 20,000 Cr from PM relief fund for the just struck cyclon ‘Yaas’. Knowing the character of her party and the cadre, it can be expected that her ‘vote-bank’ people will surely bee looked after well…whether as cut money or the commission earned. Bengali people must be loving this culture that is how she has come to the power the third time. God bless Bengal and the poor Bengalis.
Take Home Lessons from 2021 West Bengal Election:
3. Instill fear among political opponents
Instill fear among your political opponent. The third lesson the BJP govt must learn, is to use the govt machineries, esp the law and order, to instill fear among the adversaries and opponents. Law and order has always been the state subject and many govts have misused it with impunity. TMC in West Bengal and recently, Shiv Sena-Cong-NCP in Maharashtra are just two of the worst govts to have indulged in it.
Bengal police has created the history of the sorts when it did not register FIR even after a police station was burnt by the radical Muslims not once but twice. On 14 Oct 19, Ainul Khans family along with some other radicals burnt the Milki police station in Malda distt. Four years back Kalichak police station too was burn and the police force remained mute spectators when it came to taking action against the Muslims who were TMC vote-bank. It was only after severe criticism in the national media that a very weak FIR was lodged without naming anyone. The Bengal police became so partisan that they obstructed even CBI in Kolkata from questioning a senior officer.This is nothing new for Bengal police. They have continuously been misused since 1960s by the then CM, PC Sen, as narrated in details in the Swarajya magazine report placed opposite.
However, when it comes to acting against the others who are not their ‘vote-bank’ police brutalities have been initiated at the behest of their political masters at slightest of the provocations. It is a non-ending tale in West Bengal. In this context 21 July 1993 is considered the darkest day in Bengal when at the behest of the Communist govt, police fired 75 live rounds on the Congress protesters led by Mamata Banerjee, the youth leader at that time, killing 13 at the spot. It is comparable to Jallianwalabag murders by the British. However, some of the left supporters termed it as giving the taste of own medicine to the Congis that they used to indulge in the 1960s. The Communist govt managed to brush the inquiry report under the carpet. Today, looking at the Mamata’s atrocities through police, many onlookers wonder as to why one of those 75 bullets didn’t have a name written of Mamata on it, the Bandit queen. Today, unarguably, she is the worst violator of Police Force. Still fresh in the memory is the 2007 Police firing on people protesting against land acquisition for Chemical Hub of Salim Group at Nandigram village in East Midnapore, WB.
In the run-up to the 2016 state election, 2018 (ZP & panchayat), 2019 (Loksabha) and 2021 state elections in Bengal, all limits have been crossed by the partisan police which largely appear as the TMC goons in uniform. They have either freely attacked the political opponent of the TMC or failed in their responsibility to protect the citizen from the TMC-led violence. In Oct 2020, BJP Councilor Manish Shukla was shot dead in front of Titagarh Police Station in the North 24 Parganas and police did nothing. Police refused to save the Hindu community in Telinipara in 2020 attack by the Muslim radicals (‘The Counterviews’ Issue 2:11). In late Oct 2020, 35 yr old Madan Ghorai, a booth-level worker of BJP from Midnapore was killed by police while in custody and no action could be taken against the perpetrators. There are numerous such happenings in WB under Mamata Banerjee. Even Amnesty International or the Human Rights panel of the state do not look at it unless there is death of a Muslim. Hindu lives do not matter to either the Mamata Banerjee govt or its Police.
Before the 2021 state election was announced, TMC-led police force had come to be known as private force of TMC and the Bandit-Queen. The fear psychosis created among the citizen was complete even before the election. No one could trust Bengal Police. They will not come to the rescue of any person in West Bengal whose political leanings were different from TMC. Today, West Bengal police is believed to be behaving as domesticated animal of the TMC. This was the reason why Bengal Election was carried out in 8 phases to deploy adequate central forces. Even Election Commission did not have faith in the local police. The police hierarchy has become so overtly corrupt that they destroyed the evidence of the Saradha, Narada scam and who could do it? None other than Kolkata police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar himself, against whom the CBI had to issue a look-out notice…the worst in Indian history of an IPS officer. Police Commissioner’s sordid action ensured that the cheated populace of West Bengal and part of Orissa will never get the justice. The mass knows that Police will never come to their rescue and will do everything possible to commit atrocities on them and safeguard the culprits…the TMC goons. This is the worst type of reputation that a state police, the prime law & order agency could acquire. It is extremely condemnable and shameful.
All said, it may take a lifetime for the BJP to learn this lesson from Mamata Banerjee. In none of the BJP ruled state, they are able to use the police as brazenly as Mamata. Delhi Police is under the controls of Home Minister Amit Shah. Will the BJP be able to break the bones of the TMC cadre and leaders living in Delhi while Delhi police looks the other way? Will the Delhi police remain mute while the numerous BJP workers commit a tit for tat on the TMC leaders…akin to what the nation watched in the post poll violence? Could Delhi witness a hanging brutalized bodies of TMC leaders in front of their residences in Delhi as the BJP leaders in WB were done with? No. It will never happen. Possibly BJP will never droop such low as the TMC and her bandit queen. But surely people will ask…WHY NOT?
Take Home Lessons from 2021 West Bengal Election:
4. Develop a Syndicate as cover-up
Develop a Syndicate as cover-up for the leadership. In 2006 when the Communist government brought up syndicates...composed of youth from families that had lost land for the project at developing Rajarhat Newtown, their roles were to supply construction material to the builders. Over time, the syndicates started metamorphosing into organised corruption & extortion rackets with a presence in every spheres of life in West Bengal, mainly in the construction andmanufacturing sectors. This was a new goon force of the Communist which came up in no time and spread its wings in other districts too. They mostly specialized in the structured corruptions...something that Commies did not have. After the face of the government changed from Communist to Trinamool in 2011, the Syndicates too came as gift to Mamata Govt. In the first five years they laid low. However, in the last five years, they are believed to have had a significant hand in the Mamata’s corruptions and scandals...over a wide range of them...be it Ponzi Scams Sharadha, Narada, Coal mining or else. The modus operandiiof the syndicate has been very structured, carefully crafted by the leadership in which almost all the cadres & leadership were the beneficiary of the booty
As it surfaced out partially during the run-up of the 2021 election, Mamata made her nephew the kingpin of the syndicate. As reported, Abhisek Banerjee apparently oversee the happenings and the earnings were transferred carefully apparently to his foreigner wife and relatives. The extensive loot from the corruption and scam were distributed among almost the entire leadership incl some of those who later migrated to the BJP camp. There is however, no denial of the ‘Syndicate Raj’ that Mamata had. The ruling Trinamool leader Kunal Ghosh has recently retaliated over this allegation by saying that the leaders who used to run the syndicates are now in BJP. This clearly means that Mamata Banerjee was running the syndicate who operated with impunity underher patronage. Surely when some of the leaders apparently part of the syndicate switched over to BJP or others, she would have made her other loyal subordinates the ‘in-charge’ of it. So, clearly she continues to run the ‘Syndicate Raj’.
The collection and distribution of the booty by the syndicate has two effects on the electoral outcome. Firstly,the leadership in receipt of the booty and loot money remains loyal to Mamata and secondly,the cadre involved with the syndicate is recognized by the party with some portion of the loot distributed among them too.
Will BJP be able to form a syndicate to extricate, loot, scam? Well the BJP central leadership remains unblemished of any wrong doing in the last 6 yrs. Could they indulge in future? Remains to be seen. However, if BJP has to take on to Mamata / TMC anytime in future, they will have to knock out the syndicate raj too...by whatever means. At present, the Bandit Queen is in complete control of her cadres...be it the goon elements or the syndicate.
Take Home Lessons from 2021 West Bengal Election:
5. Show two finger to opponents,
6. Be Fascist
Show two fingers to political opponent/adversaries trying to take on. Rajiv Kumar, the Kolkata Commissioner of Police was supposed to be very close to Mamata Banerjeefor whatever reasons. Rajeev Kumar was part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT)set up by the West Bengal government for probing the Ponzi scam, before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases. He wasthe key person to have collected all evidence of the investigation but kept under his own custody. When the union govt handed over the case to the CBI, he refused to hand over the documents. When CBI wanted to question him, Mamata just did not allow. Whenthe union govt sent a team of CBI officers, Mamata got the officers whisked away to the police station threatening arrest. The matter reached the Supreme Court on whose orders the questioning was ordered. Finally, the SC had to step in again and Rajeev Kumar was interrogated in Shillong by a CBI team. He refused to cooperate to extent that he had to be, thus sheltering his godfathers and godmother in TMC. After this episode, all CBI offices in Kolkata had to be given CISF cover and Joint Director Pankaj Srivastava was given full security cover. The bandit queen sheltered Rajiv Kumar to the extent that when the union govt transferred him to other place, Mamata did not release him. She showed two fingers to the union leadership of the BJP. The battle between the CBI and Mamata Govt became so protracted that the CBI had to seek custodial interrogation of Rajiv Kumar from the Supreme Court in Dec 2020.
On many other fronts too, Mamata Banerjee has been openly disrespectful to PM Modi as well as the union govt. Eventhough a CM has no stand on the issue of the Citizenship Rights of the nation, she challenged the union govt over the CAA, making a point that she will not implement it in WB. Any strict govt could have taken a very serious note of it but she possibly knew the heart of Modi govt...that he will not take any tough stand. There has been similar stand on the bilateral foreign affairs with Bangladesh like those of water-sharing, transit routes and security concerns. She had been very arrogant at times, but Modi did not take any punitive action. Bengal was the only state that refused to send the data to the national crime bureau on crimes against women but Modi govt did not act. Mamata and her TMC repeatedly showed disrespect to the Governor, the constitutional head of the state but union govt ignored it. All these actions had only one objective...to convince her own party goons and electorate that she cared less for the centre. It had impact on the electoral psyche.While this issue was going for publication, it is learnt that Mamata Banerjee has displayed yet another mean behaviour during PM’s visit to the state following cyclone ‘Yaas’. She kept the PM waiting at the airport and also boycotted a meeting chaired by him. She is very awkward female to say the least.
Being Fascist. Mamata Banerjee headed the TMC like an abusive, authoritarian, ultra-regionalist leader characterized by her dictatorial power and a forcible suppressor of opposition...the other name of being Fascist. No CM would ever dare to abuse a PM but she did...not once but many times. Her fascist behavior against the political / ideological opponent has been going on ever since her second tenure. She and her party goons have committed grave violenceagainst followers of other ideologies. She has becomea hate figure. She undoubtedly is a fascist with all its facets deeply rooted within her and her TMC. That is why she claims:-
- मोदीको मैं PM नहींमानती…
- उसको मैं थप्पड़ मारूंगी….
- उसको रोसोगुल्ला नहीं पत्थर खिलाऊंगी….
- छड्डा नड्डा फड्डा वड्डा खड्डा….
- कक्का छीछी कक्का छीछी….
- अब्बाअब्बा टब्बा टब्बा….
“From a woman chief minister one expects a kind hearted leader, a follower of Democratic Values, an empathy-filled woman, a clean politician, of Secular Values, and a true face of honest and unbiased administrator. Being a woman, she was also expected to be considerate, religious minded with liberty given to all sections. However, what is being witnessed in West Bengal is exactly opposite the expectations”.
Take Home Lessons from 2021 West Bengal Election:
7. Seek vote in the name of community
Seeking vote in the name of community. Mamata Banerjee during her poll campaign on 03 Apr 21 made a blunder which the BJP leadership could not exploit fully. After she saw the winds blowing against her party, with the Muslim Votes divided between TMC and the CPI-Congress alliance in the initial 2-3 phases of election, she played communal politics. Firstly, she requested the opposition to unite with her to defeat the surging BJP in state and secondly, appealed the minority (Muslim) community not let their vote split. While the first one was the corrupt practice in the multi-party political system of India to have written to the other political parties while the polling was already under process, the second was a gross violation of not only the model code of conduct but also the violation of the Constitution of India that bans to seek vote in the name of community. Election Commission taking objection to such statement by the ruling TMC party issued notice but did not take tough stand and BJP’s legal wing apparently faltered here in not dragging Mamata to the Supreme Court to disqualify her party. If BJP had a better legal team like that of Congress with huge expertise in constitutionality of electoral politics, many believe that TMC could have been disqualified.
Mamata addressed Amit Shah as ‘Shaitan’ throwing her dignity to the winds, standing virtually naked and politically bankrupt before the public while making such obnoxious statements. How could a politician, a Chief Minister of a State, a woman be so shameless?
Mamata Banerjee can be least expected to be polite and dignified but her asking the Muslims to unite in voting her party is clearly seen as a violation of the model code of conduct. The Election Commission has never taken any firm actions in past against the many political parties indulging in ‘vote bank’ politics. However, the present indulgence by TMC appeal to caste or community for securing votes were both a corrupt practice and an electoral offence under Section 123 (3) and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, respectively. Mamata’s assertions were clearly for the minority community. The State EC should have referred the matter to the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court to seek opinion and guidance. It must be emphasized that West Bengal is a perfect political battle ground for the communal appeasement owing to the huge numbers of the illegal migrant Muslims from Bangladesh and Myanmar. TMC is clearly keeping Muslims as ‘vote bank’ with numerous appeasement sops (mentioned above) as well as keeping them beyond the provisions of the NRC. Her indulgence in communal Muslim card by appeasing them were all too obvious recent decisions of banning Durga Puja ‘visarjan’ to favour Muharram procession, looking the other ways following Muslim atrocities on Hindu (Why Hindu of West Bengal see Muslims Red; The Counterviews Issue 2:11), paying the Muslim clerics the salary… and so on.
The State EC not taking strict action against Mamata and the TMC on this account has sent a very wrong message. BJP may forward a similar appeal to the majority Community (the Hindu) of the nation in the next Lok Sabha Election…in the same phrase…” Don’t let your vote be divided”. Even if 10% of the majority community people heeds to such request by Modi or Shah to the Community leaders, there could be a huge swing of votes. If the EC has remained silent spectator now, it will have no face to seek a different approach then…and then no one ever would be able to challenge the BJP in the foreseeable future.