Tag Archives: #EastIndia

Saffron Rise In The East

A couple of years ago, could anyone have imagined a colour, which is not red, trending in Bengal? Well, saffron is the new colour of politics in Bengal. Three years ago, when the Mamata Bannerjee led Trinamool conquered the Writers’ building in Kolkata and ended years of Left rule, no one would have imagined that the Left would become a non-entity in the next Assembly Election. Even fewer would have imagined that it would be BJP challenging the TMC.
It all started a few months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Panchayat elections in West Bengal had washed away the Left parties from the rural areas. The elections had also shown the people that TMC is no different from the Left. Bitter fights took place during the Panchayat Elections, blood was drawn, Left party offices were burnt by TMC workers, tempers of both the cadres were high, violent clashes took place outside the polling booths, hundreds of people were forced to abstain from Voting. Bengal realized that no “Poribartan” had taken place. But there was no alternative. Then the chit fund scam took place and the groundswell of anger against the Mamata Bannerjee led TMC govt. started rising.
The declaration of Narendra Modi as the prime-ministerial candidate of the BJP, gave fresh lease of energy to the BJP cadres.
As Narendra Modi started campaigning, the RSS strengthened in West Bengal. The number of BJP workers was increasing. Soon BJP grew confident enough to hold a Narendra Modi rally in the massive Brigade Parade Ground. And more astonishingly, most parts of the ground were filled with supporters. Modi, knowing of BJP’s weak base in Bengal, didn’t attack Mamata Bannerjee. But as the ground reports got more and more positive in nature, BJP changed its course. And this changed the course of the politics in West Bengal.
BJP became a bitter rival of the TMC, its numbers sored high, Didi was referring to BJP more than Left in the speeches. The infiltrator-refuge issue was voiced again and provided new base to the BJP. BJP and RSS went from strength to strength in Bengal and got an unimaginable 17% vote share.
The BJP had built a base in West Bengal and capitalized on it to win a seat on its own in the recent bypolls, a feat it had never reached in its history. Now, it is not the left, but the “Right of Centre” BJP that is challenging the TMC regime proving the age old saying that “Politics is the game of uncertainties”. 2016 is going to write a new chapter in the politics of West Bengal.