Elections in West Bengal: Mamata emerges as ‘Number One Didi’ in the opposition camp | India News
NEW DELHI: Mamata Banerjee emerged as the preeminent opposition leader in the country on Sunday, securing her best term yet, defeating the ruler’s formidable forces. BJP at the Center run by none other than the Prime Minister Narendra modi and Interior Minister Amit Shah.
Leading her party for a third term as chief minister, Banerjee swept the polls by leading 215 of the 294 seats in the assembly as of Sunday night and establishing her full control over state politics.
With this, he controlled the BJP’s march from one state to another, limiting the saffron party to less than 80 seats (leaders) even after Modi and Shah together addressed 77 demonstrations in the state.
In an unprecedented eight-phase election, a battery of Union cabinet ministers, chief ministers of BJP-governed states, including Yogi adityanath, and the leaders of the central BJP campaigned in the state for 117 days.
Banerjee faced an attack from an aggressive BJP for several months since last December, with hordes of TMC leaders being wiped out by the saffron camp.
The exodus created an atmosphere that painted the ruling party in Bengal like a sinking ship.
As the battle lines grew sharper and the BJP offense grew stronger, Banerjee fought head-on, campaigning in almost every seat.
While many of his MLAs faced the fight against incumbency, their own popularity refused to die on the ground.
“If she is so bad, incompetent as they say, why does the Prime Minister of the country have to come three days a week to campaign against her … then she must be very powerful,” said Gautam Maity (35), a taxi driver in Kolkata, who hails from Contai in Midnapore.
BJP’s personal attacks on Mamata only brought out the best in his followers who seemed determined to counter him.
With Congress, the Left and others swept away in the Bengal TMC wave, and other regional parties, from the NCP to Samajwadi Party, RJD, JMM, Shiv Sena, extending his moral support for his fight against the BJP, Banerjee has clearly demonstrated his power in the meetings above all other opposition forces.
The mobilization of the opposition forces behind Banerjee had started with Sharad pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav and Jharkhand Prime Minister Hemant Soren campaigning for TMC during the elections.
Congress leader Rahul gandhi it limited its campaign in Bengal and then ended it, even if it was apparently because of the Covid pandemic.
This was also interpreted as a concession of space to Banerjee in some way.
Leaving no doubt that it will lead the charge against BJP in the Center, the Banerjee announced on Sunday that “Bengal’s victory for TMC is the beginning of the downfall of Modi-Shah-led saffron supremacy” in the country.
The Congress, which has been ravaged into the remaining pockets of Bengal’s Malda and Murshidabad districts with zero seats, and failed to win in Kerala, Assam or Puducherry, is now unlikely to maintain its number one position as a party in the opposition camp.
So, with Bengal done, Mamata Banerjee is ready to start working in an opposition unit to challenge the BJP in the Center, as the backbone of any move towards the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.