oppn parties Didi in Trouble? Not Really

News Snippets

  • DMK leader RS Bharathi says media is running like the red light area in Mumbai
  • A Delhi court issues fresh warrants for the hanging of the Nirbhaya convicts. Fixes the date for March 3
  • Supreme Court appoints a mediation team to ask Shaheen Bagh protestors to avoid blocking the road and shift to another venue
  • Supreme Court says peaceful protests cannot be denied in a democracy but also says that a balance must be struck as protestors cannot be allowed to block roads
  • Telcos pay part of their dues for AGR after the bashing from the Supreme Court
  • Debbie Abrahams, a Labour MP from UK, who was critical of India's action in Kashmir, not allowed to enter India. She was deported to Dubai from the Delhi airport
  • Sidharth Shukla wins Big Boss 13
  • Gully Boy sweeps most of the awards at the Filmfare Awards
  • Sharad Pawar says Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray wrong in allowing NIA to take over the Elgar Parishad case
  • Supreme Court frames guidelines and sets a six-month time frame for hearing of appeals made by death row convicts
  • EC rebuts the allegations of not acting on hate speech made by ex-CEC SY Quraishi
  • DoT asks telcos to pay up Rs 4L cr by midnight on Friday after the Supreme Court asks it why its order of recovering the dues was not being complied with
  • Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan, under probe for making an inflammatory and anti-CAA speech in AMU, arrested under NSA before he could be released from jail after being granted bail by a court
  • Supreme Court asks the J&K administration to explain and justify Omar Abdullah's detention under the PSA Act
  • In a shameful incident, 68 girls stripped in a Gujarat college to check if they were menstruating
Supreme Court allows permanent commission for women in the armed forces, allows three months for implementation of the order
oppn parties
Didi in Trouble? Not Really

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-04-29 13:48:00

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Is Mamata Banerjee scared of the poll outcome? Taking cue from her recent utterances where she has told people at rallies that if they find her to be a thief, they might not vote for her, analysts think that she feels that the TMC citadel is under threat from the CPM-Congress alliance and is hence putting her own spotless reputation on the line. Some analysts have also perceived the relative silence of the voters in Bengal as a pointer to another poriborton in the offing.

Mamata Banerjee has always been an emotional leader. She wears her squeaky clean image on her pallu. Any insinuation, even if indirect, is immediately taken as an affront and why not. In her several decades of public life, no one can accuse her of hobnobbing with undesirable elements or being corrupt. But the same cannot be said of some leaders in her party.

Mamata has for long tried to insulate herself from the corruption charges leveled against her trusted lieutenants. A section of the press in Bengal has been most vocal in highlighting these charges. But now, with Sharada, syndicates and sting all combining to create a pressure cooker situation before the assembly polls, she knows that people will vote for TMC only if she puts her image on the block. The euphoria of 2011 is no doubt missing and the body language of TMC leaders, including Mamata, is down, but there is not a buzz around the opposition either.

There is no doubt that corrupt leaders have sullied the image of the party. But how this will translate into negative voting is anyone’s guess. All talks of a resurgent CPM are just talks because neither does the party have a leader to match Mamata’s charishma nor is its famed cadre force as potent as it was say, 15 years ago. It was unable to start a people’s movement after successive scams that rocked the TMC government. Perhaps, after 34 years in the government, Bengal CPM has forgotten the art of opposing. Or, after enjoying the fruits of ruling the state for so long, the pot-bellied comrades do not have any fire left to renew the class struggle.

Mamata Banerjee is going to win – maybe with a reduced majority. One says this because there is very little to choose between the two major opponents (BJP is not a factor in the state) and TMC scores with Mamata’s charishma. Even that would come as a shock to her for she genuinely feels that she has done a lot for the betterment of the masses. She may not have been successful in attracting capital or creating jobs, but TMC feels they have provided reasonably good governance to the state, notwithstanding the corruption charges.

But if she is voted back to power, Mamata should recognize that this is only due to her own clean image. Rather than seeing it as an endorsement of her corrupt lieutenants (some of whom might even be shown the door by the people), she should take it as a chance offered by the people to rid herself of riff-raff and rule the state with better people – if she can find them in the party. Else, it would not be a bad idea to outsource experts and make them ministers. She has one in Amit Mitra. Others will join if didi wants them.