Infiltrated By Leftists, Prashant Kishor’s Team Is Driving Mamata Banerjee’s Shrill Poll Rhetoric Against BJP

by Jaideep Mazumdar - Feb 24, 2021 08:56 AM
Infiltrated By Leftists, Prashant Kishor’s Team Is Driving Mamata Banerjee’s Shrill Poll Rhetoric Against BJPTrinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and Prashant Kishor.
Snapshot
  • Prashant Kishor and his team have been telling Mamata Banerjee that display of intense hatred for the BJP is a sure shot way of keeping the Trinamool’s Muslim vote bank intact.

Trinamool’s hired poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s team — the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) — has been infiltrated by communists.

And it is they who are behind the increasingly shrill rhetoric of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and her colleagues against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

I-PAC, say Trinamool insiders, has a large number of young men and women who are ardent communists and even radical leftists. They are all passouts from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jadavpur University (JU).

They are working as field campaign associates, data analysts, developers, digital campaign associates and campaign strategy associates in the I-PAC.

“They are all over Bengal collecting ground-level data and conducting surveys based on which they are designing the party’s (Trinamool’s) election campaign. They advise the party leadership on what to say at election rallies and they handle the social media accounts of all Trinamool leaders,” revealed former Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi.

It is they, said another former Trinamool leader who joined the BJP last month, who are behind the shrill and often ugly attacks by Mamata Banerjee and her party colleagues on the BJP.

“I found the I-PAC team members posting very ugly attacks from my social media accounts on the Prime Minister and other senior BJP leaders. They started using very foul language and I had to intervene and ask them to delete those posts,” said Trivedi.

“Since many, if not most, I-PAC associates and workers are communists, they harbour a deep-seated hatred for the BJP and that hatred is now finding expression in the Trinamool’s malevolent election campaign against the BJP,” said the former Trinamool minister.

Trinamool insiders say that they are being goaded by Prashant Kishor (PK) and his team to become increasingly scornful of the BJP and indulge in more hate-filled rhetoric against the saffron party.

“They (PK and his team) are telling us that the more the hostility we display towards the BJP, the brighter will be our electoral prospects. They are telling us that according to their feedback and surveys, people are appreciating the animosity we are displaying towards the BJP,” said a senior Trinamool functionary who did not want to be named.

Mamata Banerjee’s animosity towards the BJP ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, however, predates her hiring PK as her political strategist.

“But that antagonism towards the BJP was driven by political compulsions and was never as intense as it has become now. Her antipathy towards the BJP is now very deep and visceral. It mirrors the hatred for the BJP harboured by communists,” said the former Trinamool minister.

PK and his team have been telling Mamata Banerjee that display of intense hatred for the BJP is a sure shot way of keeping the Trinamool’s Muslim vote bank intact.

“With Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front (ISF) joining the electoral fray and queering the pitch for the Trinamool, it is very important to keep the Muslim votes intact. And a good way to ensure that is to step up the rhetoric against the BJP and position the Trinamool as the BJP’s arch foe,” said a former I-PAC associate, who left the organisation recently.

Former Trinamool functionaries who have left the party say that the communist-infiltrated I-PAC has also been telling the Trinamool leadership that in order to stave off any harm that the Congress-Left alliance can inflict on the Trinamool’s electoral prospects, the Trinamool needs to position itself as the strongest bulwark against the electoral threat posed by the BJP.

It is necessary to instil the belief amongst the electorate, the I-PAC has reportedly told the Trinamool leadership, that the Trinamool is the only party which can fight back the BJP and keep it from coming to power in Bengal.

“The electorate needs to be convinced of this so that they do not vote for the Congress-Left combine and split the anti-BJP vote. Hence, the advice to the Trinamool by PK and his team to step up the rhetoric against the BJP,” said the former Trinamool minister.

“But the injection of hate and the strategy to make the attacks against Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda deeply personal is being done at the behest of the communists in I-PAC,” said a senior Trinamool functionary.

This functionary, and many others including some ministers, are upset about the personal and increasingly hate-filled attacks on the BJP and its leadership by Mamata Banerjee and many of her colleagues.

“This is not Bengal’s culture. It is not good politics. Decency has to be maintained even during election campaigns. Many of us feel that the attacks on Modi and others, and the show of hatred for the BJP is actually harming our party instead of helping it,” said the Trinamool functionary.

His apprehension could well turn out to be true. Many in Bengal are getting increasingly uncomfortable with the attacks by Mamata Banerjee and many Trinamool leaders against the BJP.

And what is also one of Bengal’s greatest ironies is that after spending decades fighting and ultimately overthrowing the communists from power in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is now heeding the advice of communists to stave off the threat posed by the BJP to her chair.

Jaideep Mazumdar is an associate editor at Swarajya.

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