I am of the opinion that the Cooch Behar tragedy should be independently and impartially probed, given the stakes of the ruling TMC party and the BJP in poll-bound West Bengal. The Election Commission has tried to settle the dust by being neutral, by banning leaders from entering the district and curtailing the phase five campaigning by a day. It’s not just about the killing of four people at the hands of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), but of abuse, anarchy, and chaos dominating the electoral landscape of a state known for its rich social, cultural, and intellectual vividness and variety. It is in this context that the present-day situation can be distinguished and denoted, with a desperate Centre displaying a no holds barred approach for anyhow scoring political office in the state.
Fraught with challenges and contestations for carefully crafting and creating political spaces for regional and communal mobilization, organization and polarization in a state where it is relatively newer in comparison to established political parties like the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM), which together ruled the state for a greater time period with a Trinamool Congress (TMC) rising to the show in 2011. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is risking all they have, aware that they have nothing to lose. They keep opining, through phrases and proses in order to highlight and attack the last ten years of TMC leader Mamata Banerjee’s misrule and misgovernance, but with a lack of any visible alternative or agenda asking for a change which would revive the faith and fortunes of the state. In this regard, this election becomes everybody’s guess, with no clear clues or hints from the ground. As for the bhadralok‘s alertness and smartness at the ballot? Completely matchless!