Modi Wave In UP, Turbulence Coming In Bengal 

Modi Wave In UP, Turbulence Coming In Bengal 

by Jaideep Mazumdar - Mar 11, 2017 04:39 PM +05:30 IST
Modi Wave In UP, Turbulence Coming In Bengal Modi and Mamata Banerjee 
  • With a Modi wave in UP, Mamata is bound to get jittery, BJP’s Bengal unit is bound to get buoyed, and Bengal is bound to get further polarised

There are dark days ahead for Bengal. With the BJP, buoyed by its poll victory, planning to up the ante against Mamata Banerjee and emerging as the principal opposition party in the state in popular perception, bloody clashes are likely to erupt between the BJP and the Trinamool.

Desperate to hold on to its predominant position and determined to curb the challenge posed by a resurgent BJP, Mamata is bound to let loose her army of hoodlums and criminals on the BJP. She will also raise the pitch against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union government in order to hold on to her minority vote bank in the state. The inglorious defeat of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is also likely to rekindle her long-time aspiration of emerging as a credible alternative to the Congress as a leader of a (elusive) Third Front. This, again, will lead her to pit herself more strongly against Modi and the BJP.

Also, the growing Hindu consolidation in Bengal, which is the direct fallout of Mamata's blatant minority-appeasement policies, will propel Mamata, increasingly desperate to hold on to and further consolidate her minority vote bank, to frame and implement more measures to appease the minorities. This will fuel more polarisation of Hindus  which will benefit the BJP.

The eventual increase in the number of BJP berths in the Rajya Sabha will reduce the BJP's dependence on the Trinamool to pass crucial legislation in the Upper House. Thus, the BJP will no longer be in a mood to indulge Mamata and her corrupt and wayward party men and is likely to give the green signal to various investigative agencies like the CBI, the ED and NIA to go the whole hog against the Trinamool. This will push Mamata in to a tight corner and lead her to launch a vicious counter-attack on the BJP. This counter-attack will include lodging false cases against BJP leaders, using the pliant state administration and Bengal's notoriously spineless police force to curb the BJP cadres into submission and, as stated earlier, using her army of musclemen and goons to attack the BJP.

Since all this will take up a lot of her time and attention, she will have less time for governance. Mamata will also turn more populist in order to consolidate her support, and this will translate into bad news for the state's already precarious finances.
Thus, Bengal will see more political violence in the days and months ahead and governance will take a backseat as Mamata tries to beat back the challenge posed by the BJP.

Jaideep Mazumdar is an associate editor at Swarajya.

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