One state that has politics streaming down the veins of its people, if not anything else, is West Bengal. The state, with stagnancy in its development since the moving of the British capital to Delhi, has seen some of the most brutal phases before and after independence.
The Congress, the Communists, and the present ruling party TMC have all taken turns to rule this politically fertile land, while the cultural capital of Bharat, as Bengalis love to imagine their state, has suffered serious damage. This sacred land of West Bengal is once again turning red as TMC unleashes a brutal crackdown on its chief political rival.
Witnessing the country-wide growth of the BJP, the ruling party’s fear of losing ground to the ways of Amit Shah is turning evident. Cognizant of how their undue, unfair, unwarranted politics of appeasement have turned the Hindus – who are still the dominating denomination in the state – against them, and having tasted some severe losses during the Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP snatched 18 seats out of their hands, the TMC can clearly foresee dear satta slipping out of their hands in the aseembly elections due in 2021.
Unable to counter BJP’s political gains and strategies, failing to address issues faced by an irate public, the TMC has turned to its last resort, probably the only resort it can play well – a blood-soaked campaign of intimidation.
After seeing the bodies of numerous grass-root level BJP workers like Trilochan Mahato & Dulal Kumar hung from trees in villages, BJP candidates like Ajit Mumuru killed for filing nominations at panchayat level elections, pregnant relatives of BJP nominees raped, the state is faced with the goondaism of the ruling party turning its attention towards prominent and influential names of its primary political opponent.
BJP MP Arjun Singh became the recent target of such an attack last week and suffered severe injuries. It is alleged that the police indulged in baton charge at Kankinara to lift a road blockade by a group. In response to this attack, the BJP called for a 12 hours bandh in the Barrackpore constituency and held a protest march from the Shyam Bazar crossing.
But this is not one odd incident of a BJP leader being attacked in West Bengal. On August 30th, Trinamool Congress turned BJP MLA Biswajit Das was attacked in North 24 Parganas by a gang of unidentified miscreants while on his way to the state Assembly. “There have been a number of attacks on me since switching over to the BJP. I have received inputs that the local Trinamool Congress leadership is conspiring to kill me. Today’s attack was conducted with that motive,” said Das reckoning his experience after switching to BJP.
Even the state chief Dilip Ghosh couldn’t evade this violence and became a victim of a group of hooligans last Friday morning. The incident took place at Lake Town, Kolkata, on 30th August when Ghosh had stepped out of his residence for his everyday morning walk. A radicalized mob appeared out of nowhere and charged at him. Ghosh & BJP workers have claimed that the attackers were from the Trinamool Congress.
These attacks on BJP leaders are not a new occurrence but just a continuation of the politics of violence that had commenced in West Bengal much before the Lok Saba polls. In April, Joy Bandyopadhyay, a BJP Lok Sabha nominee for Uluberia, was attacked by motorbike-borne TMC goons armed with sharp weapons in Howrah district.
It was around the same time that Amit Shah was attacked during a roadshow in Kolkata. A scuffle broke out at the BJP President’s rally on May 14th as his convoy passed by Calcutta University campus on College Street. It was alleged that the TMC members took to pelting stones at the convoy from the college hostel on Bidhan Saran. Hell broke loose when the TMC Chhatra Parishad targeted the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad supporters, and the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar got vandalized in the scrimmage.
The battle for Bengal is only getting bloodier by the day, and one can foresee a lot more political violence in the days to come. The ruling party has smelt defeat lurking round the corner, and they seem to have pledged to employ every weapon in their arsenal to retain power. But will this bloodshed help them in their cause? Guess we will have to wait till 2021 to see…or will we?
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