I do understand how electorally missing a state like West Bengal may sound for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It is a state which was on the radar of the party’s leadership for quite some time. However, they remained ignorant about the pressing realities and hardships that were staring us (i.e. the people of Bengal) in the face, as we were largely left to fend for ourselves.
Almost everyone, from the home minister to the defence minister, was tasked with enhancing and improving the prospects of a party which has been eyeing Bengal ever since they won eighteen of the forty-two state parliamentary seats. PM Modi’s popularity may have informed ballot choice of the people during that election. However, it was unlike this assembly election, in which the personal charisma and appeal of Mamata Banerjee dictated over and described their political purchase and perception. Despite the elections being over, the defiant BJP is taking turns at countering Didi‘s legitimacy and leadership.
J.P. Nadda and Kailash Vijayvargiya are very adamant about mocking and teasing Mamata Banerjee over the post-poll violence and vandalism. that has so far claimed the lives of fourteen BJP karyakartas. BJP maintains that didi‘s electoral defeat to Suvendu Adhikari- her former aide and deputy- was the immediate trigger perpetuating this unprecedented situation. Even the Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) was caught off guard in the situation.
Shouldn’t Amit Shah in his capacity as Home Minister be responding to our queries? Instead, the BJP is busy in marking this situation as a one-off incident by staging ceremonial dharnas, countering the Chief Minister’s ‘khela hobe‘ narrative. Right after taking the oath of office, Mamata Banerjee transferred the police chiefs and personnel, under whose jurisdiction these incidents sprouted. From the looting and ransacking of Bharatiya Janata Party’s offices to the maiming of their party workers, the incident has soured didi‘s victory celebrations.
Mamata Banerjee, in all her humility and humbleness, appealed to everyone for peace and calm; however, the BJP remains agitated. It seems to be jumping the ship by polarizing the contents of the matter, by terming it as an episode orchestrated by a constituency dear to Banerjee’s electoral prospects and fortunes. Maybe J.P. Nadda, who rushed to Kolkata after the situation, finds a merit in this statement after visiting the households of the families impacted as a result of this arson and plunder.
In my opinion, the Bharatiya Janata Party is taking stock of its position as the principal opposition in the state, after the rout of the Left. Also, they can access this vacuum to resurrect the political, social, and cultural forms and manners of Hindutva with pride and not prejudice. This would be important if they would like to keep their house in check, fearing that a good chunk of cherry-picked legislators might desert them for Trinamool. Both Vijayvargiya and Nadda are likely to be stationed in Kolkata for a few more days (if not more), as willful obedience and loyalty is utmost for political grace and excellence. This is probably something they should know from their experience as leaders and representatives.