- There is no disputing the fact that the recently concluded state assembly election for West Bengal would go down in the annals of electoral history as one of the most bitterly contested between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the challenger in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The entire election campaign was so polarised and communalized that the real issue of interest to the electorate like developments, provisioning of basic amenities like road, water, clean air, healthcare facility, education, and most importantly, stable but reassuring law and order situation took a definite backseat. None of the real issues of concern were addressed as the two political protagonists went after each other’s jugular vein unabashedly.
PC: Ananya Das
- Most astonishingly, these hyperbole driven politically polarising electoral rallies were conducted even as the second covid wave was making its debilitating presence felt all around the country as also West Bengal. The warning signs were conveniently ignored by political parties while it suited them conveys message louder than words of the priorities adopted. The fall-guy to emerge from the eventual outcome for undertaking elections was none other than the Election Commission of India. The EC was lambasted by few High Courts and also chastised by the Supreme Court itself for going ahead with conducting the elections amidst rising infection cases around the time.
- After generating tremendous heat over the matter, hopes of subsequent poll results would finally compel the warring political parties to move on with the real issues of governance to not only effectively address/curtail the raging covid cases from spiraling further but also concentrate on driving the administration in the right direction stands belied. Alas, it was obviously not meant to be as the post-poll violence witnessed in West Bengal amply demonstrated the antagonism between the two belligerent parties is not going to subside any time soon.
- Soon after the swearing-in ceremony of the Mamata Banerjee government, the Union Government sent across few teams to assess the virus situation in the state followed by statements describing worsening law and order situation further rising heckles of the ruling TMC. The latest drama unfolding in the state saw the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arresting two senior ministers in CM Banerjee’s cabinet in the Narada bribery case. This led to Mamata landing at CBI’s office and dramatically proclaiming arrest me also in her usual aggressive manner. These fast-evolving unpleasant situation only reflects poor Centre-State relations have taken a turn for the worse. Of course, the TMC is right in questioning why turncoats like BJP’s SuvenduAdhikari who prominently featured in the Narada sting tape are spared and not arrested.
- The CBI is living up to its moniker of being a caged parrot continuing to act under the master’s direction rather than exercise constitution-mandated autonomy to stay neutral. Leaving aside BJP leaders accused in the scam and arresting the TMC’s minister reeks of a blatantly biased move and is condemnable. Enough of parochial considerations as the people rightfully expect political parties to divert their energies, resources, attention, and concentration in tackling the dreaded cases. Come to think of it, West Bengal is amid a lockdown, and seeing teeming members of TMC protesting the arrests is a dreadful sight. Make no mistake, the unfolding events give rise to witch-hunting by the center which should be avoided forthwith. Let us hope better sense prevails!