oppn parties Didi in Trouble? Not Really

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
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.