The Trinamool Congress claims to be enormously popular in West Bengal, where it has been winning election after election in the last few years. And yet it is so insecure that its workers resort to intimidation and violence against opponents.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may rubbish the allegation as a canard from a frustrated opposition, but the fact is that the TMC’s ways have become all too evident to be dismissed. The run-up to the panchayat elections in the State has seen serious misgivings being raised by parties ranging from the Bharatiya Janata Party to the Left to the Congress, all of whom have accused Trinamool workers of terrorising their candidates into not contesting, and demanding the deployment of Central forces during the poll process.
There have been many instances of TMC workers and even leaders using brute force to take on their rivals, and the Mamata Banerjee regime has not shied away from using unfair means to rein in the democratic rights of its opponents. There is no doubt that all is not well. The Trinamool Congress is clearly rattled by the public support the BJP has been gaining over the years, and the ruling party has resorted to using every public occasion to counter them through confrontations — the latest being the Ram Navami procession.
The Chief Minister, realising that her conduct of bending over backward in appeasing the minorities had been alienating the majority community, often resorts to majority humouring too. But all this drama is not working and the disenchantment is growing. Whether it gets reflects against the Trinamool Congress in the panchayat polls or the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, remains to be seen. But what is increasingly evident is that Mamata Banerjee and her party have become more and more aggressive in their bid to counter the BJP’s rise. The Trinamool Congress can blame the aggression of the BJP for the escalation of tensions, but the fact is that its Government has done little to either enhance the law and order situation or improve the economic environment of the State.
The Chief Minister is too busy with her petty politics to attend to issues that directly impact the common man. For the moment, she is desperately trying to cobble together a non-Congress/non-BJP alliance to take on the BJP in 2019, with an aim of course to project herself as the leader of that outfit. Her strategy is strange: On the one hand she is hobnobbing with the Congress to make them see reason and back her proposed front, and on the other she is antagonising the party in West Bengal.