Home Asian News Not even COVID-19 could stop the battle in Bengal - The Diplomat

Not even COVID-19 could stop the battle in Bengal – The Diplomat


Trinamool Parliamentary Party supporters participate in a political rally led by West Bengal State Premier Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, India, Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Source: AP Photo / Bikas Das

There are only two out of eight stages left to the West Bengal state parliamentary elections, two taking the lead, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), a regional party that has ruled West Bengal since 2011, and the main challenger Its nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), head of the federal government of India, has stepped up their campaigns.

Until now, the campaigns of these parties were basically all involved in attacks against each other’s leaders.

Speaking to a public protest on April 19, TMC leader and West Bengal chief Mamata Banerjee said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible for “skyrocketing“The case of COVID-19 in India. “He is a responsible man. No plans, no governance, total inefficiencies, ”she said.

Although this was a state parliamentary election, Modi was a prominent BJP campaigner and had settled dozens of protests in the state.

India is grappling with the second giant wave of COVID-19. On April 20, it reported one by one 294,291 new infections every day. West Bengal, meanwhile, recorded its highest daily spike 9,819 new cases that day.

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However, political parties have organized large rallies and long-distance sessions with the participation of tens of thousands of people. Neither the leader nor the supporter masking or maintaining socially outgoing standards at these events.

Although the Election Commission has limited campaign hours at night, this was not the hard response needed to cut the campaign crowding.

On April 19, the opposition National Assembly announced that pause all demonstrations across West Bengal. TMC responded immediately, albeit halfway. It will be organize small meetings in Kolkata. The last person to answer was BJP. Only after its rivals reduced their campaigns did it agree limit participation at its electoral rallies.

The battle in Bengal was so important that the two main parties in the war were reluctant to withdraw their campaign in the final phase, despite the pandemic.

TMC has considered itself a party represents the pride of the Bengali people and criticized BJP as a party of “outsiders,” polarizing society along community lines. On the BJP side, they accused TMC of being against Hindus and appeasing Muslims. It is also alleged that the TMC government has prevent Bengal from benefiting from federal government development policies and programs led by BJP.

The battle is becoming increasingly personal and unpleasant. The politicians’ speeches are aimed at despising each other rather than highlighting their plans for Bengal. They face insults and personal attacks.

For example, Banerjee has participated in many naming activities. She describes Modi as one “Liars” and “rebels. “”Something is not right with his brain, ”she said at a demonstration, adding that“ it looks like his screw is loose ”(meaning he has an unstable mind).

As for Modi, he does repeatedly mocked Banerjee. Banerjee is often called didi or sister in West Bengal, but Modi uses the word “didi” in her speech disrespectfully; The tone he accepted seemed like one catcall.

Of the four states and a union territory that have voted in the council elections since March 29, West Bengal is the most coveted BJP. The party never ruled Bengal; Indeed, the BJP candidates have rarely won the state.

The BJP hopes to change that in this election. It is drawing all the stops to ensure an improved tally if not outright victory. It did not hesitate to use state machines to its advantage.

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The party deployed all of its top counterparts, including ministers in the federal government such as Modi and Interior Minister Amit Shah, to lobby for its candidates in West Bengal.

West Bengal never accepted a BJP. The state is the Communist fortress for 34 years and since 2011, TMC has taken power.

The state elected its first BJP member of parliament only in 1998. It joined the West Bengal parliament for the first time only in 2016. That year it won three seats in the House of Representatives with 294 seats.

Support for the BJP in Bengal has increased dramatically in the years since. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the party won 18 of the 42 seats from West Bengal. It accounted for 40.64% of the vote, only 3 percentage points behind the TMC’s vote rate.

With BJP in stalking, TMC is currently worried.

Getting the most seats is not enough; it must win the majority. Otherwise, it will have to turn to the Indian Confederate Front-Congress coalition for assistance to keep the BJP from losing power in the state.

BJP is the power to keep an eye on. But securing any number of seats more than the three that it has already held on the departing council will be sufficient.

The implications of current elections go beyond West Bengal. If TMC holds Fort of Bengal and stops BJP, Banerjee has a good chance of leading the opposition coalition against BJP in the 2024 general election.

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