West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamta Banerjee’s attitude has softened. She is still making statements against the BJP but is not fighting the way she is known for. The change in her politics is that she has started giving clean chit to the Prime Minister while fighting against the misuse of central agencies, CBI and ED by the central government. She has also started praising the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and not only this, she is also giving work worth thousands of crores to the businessman against whom the entire opposition of the country is attacking unitedly. Then the question is whether she is scared of central government agencies or has she changed her strategy for some specific purpose?
This question is arising because Mamta Banerjee has shown softness towards the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the past. He said that not all people in RSS are bad, but there are many good people who do not like BJP politics. Now he has shown softness towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said in the assembly that he does not feel that the CBI action against the opposition leaders is being done on the instructions of Prime Minister Modi. He distanced Modi from the controversy and said that this job could be of Amit Shah as the CBI now reports to the Union Home Minister and not to the Prime Minister. Mamta said that some BJP leaders are using CBI by conspiring for their selfish interests. It is also reported that the West Bengal government has awarded a contract of Rs 25,000 crore to Gautam Adani’s company Andani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited to build a deep sea port at Tajpur in East Midnapore. Recently, his company also got a contract of Rs 298 crore for mechanization of a dock at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port in Haldia.
Two conclusions emerge from this politics of Mamata. The first and obvious conclusion is that Mamata Banerjee is distancing Prime Minister Modi from the controversy to get some relief. Mamta’s entire family is under the scanner of central agencies. While his nephew Abhishek Banerjee is being questioned by the ED, many people of Abhishek’s wife and in-laws are under the scanner of central agencies. The sword of CBI and ED investigation is hanging over dozens of party leaders. Keep in mind that the attack of Congress and all the opposition parties is on Prime Minister Modi and after that Amit Shah is on target. But Mamata has targeted Shah except Modi and targeted some unknown BJP leaders.
Another conclusion of this statement of Mamta also comes that she is making such statements as a strategy. That strategy is to send a message to the wider Hindu society that they are not against Narendra Modi. They seem to have received on the ground feedback that Modi’s popularity is not declining and attacking Modi angers the majority Hindu society. He seems to have shown leniency towards the RSS under the same strategy. The opposition parties themselves are doing the work ahead of this. When Mamata Banerjee showed leniency towards the RSS, Congress and Left leaders reminded that Mamata had participated in the RSS program in 2003 and made it a patriotic organization. The issue of his being a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was also raised by the opposition. Mamta’s purpose was fulfilled by this campaign of Congress and Left. From Sangh volunteers to a large section of Hindus, it has reached the point that Mamata is her own and she can go with the Sangh and the BJP if needed. Taking this strategy forward, Mamta has shown softness towards Modi. He has given this message to Modi supporters that Modi is not an untouchable for Mamta.
It seems necessary for Mamta to do this because the voters of the country have learned to vote differently in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. They vote for different parties in both the elections. This trend has been seen in many states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal. That’s why Mamta is apprehensive that even though she has got thatch seats in the assembly, but the picture may change in the Lok Sabha. In the last 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 18 seats, while at that time the voters of the state were not polarized as much as it is now. If the situation remains like this, then it will not be surprising that BJP will again perform very well in West Bengal. That’s when Mamata Banerjee is playing bets to cater to Hindu voters. They know that the existence of the Congress and the Left has largely ceased to exist, so Muslim voters have no option but Trinamool. Whether Mamta praises the Sangh or Modi, Muslims will vote for her. So they are worried about the majority Hindu vote. In the coming days, she will also play the stake of Bengali identity and will also raise the hope of the first Bengali Prime Minister.
In this way they are trying to kill two prey with one arrow. She is trying to protect her party leaders and family members from central agencies while on the other hand sending a message to the majority of Hindus that she is not anti-Hindu. Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati has also done this work in her own way. In the concern of the central agencies, he also did politics friendly to the BJP, leaving the fighting attitude. In Uttar Pradesh, she was of great use to the BJP. He did not align with the Samajwadi Party or the Congress and fielded candidates on all the seats in the state in such a way that the anti-BJP votes were divided. BJP got a big advantage of this.
However, her strategy is not like that of Mamta Banerjee because Mayawati has benefited the BJP by doing her own loss, while Mamta is playing this bet for her own benefit. For many years Arvind Kejriwal had done this kind of politics. They did not target Narendra Modi. He knew that a large section of Hindus is a fan of Modi in spite of all. Keeping that in mind, Kejriwal did politics till the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections and after that took a stand against Modi. However, be it Mamata, Mayawati or Kejriwal, when winning elections becomes the sole aim of leaders, ideological commitment cannot be expected. Unfortunately, even such a compromise is not guaranteed to win the election.