There are five states – Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry who will await their fate on May 2, 2021. However among the five , it is the elections in West Bengal that has generated unprecedented hype and sees maximum debates in news channels 24×7 on prime time . This excitement stems from the fact that the BJP from mere 3 seats in 2016 assembly polls as compared to ruling TMC’s tally of 211 is keen to break the jinx and now dares to dream of forming the government in West Bengal.
And party leaders are exuding confidence with president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh buoyed by the large crown turn -out at rallies and road shows are hoping to win over 200 seats and some suggesting a 2/3 majority . This is not all, even going on to extent of saying CAA would be implemented in the first cabinet meeting itself. Is this over confidence? only time will tell. This BJP bravado comes when political strategist Prashant Kishor much before the polls got under way has predicted that BJP will not triple figures in West Bengal assembly polls. So where are the these 200 plus seats coming from as claimed by Amit Shah is a mystery .
In midst of the bitter electoral face- off between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress one seat – Nandigram has become a prestige battle it seems or what the media thinks it is. Here Mamata Banerjee , the incumbent Chief Minister is taking on her former close aide turned as in her own words ‘Gaddar ‘ BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.
Both are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters in this much awaited clash . The last time one re-collects a similar media attention to one constituency was during the Lok Sabha Polls of 2019 when BJP fielded Smriti Irani to take on the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi from the Gandhi family bastion Amethi .
Irani turned out to be the giant killer upsetting Rahul Gandhi. Though the Gandhi scion remained a MP by winning from Kerala’s Wayanad. The onus is sqaurely now on the results to prove that West Bengal is no Uttar Pradesh and Mamata Banerjee is not Rahul Gandhi.
So what lies for both Mamata and Suvendu ahead ? , It is aptly clear that for Mamata a win would mean people have firmly rejected a deserter and enhance her standing as a opposition leader to take on the might of the BJP. Mamata at back of her mind knows Suvendu will make it a tough a fight . And her letter reaching out to 14 opposition leaders to come together to take on the BJP seems to indicate some inner mind nervousness as well .
TMC has no presence outside West Bengal, a probable loss would mean people’s disenchantment with her party and issues of anti- incumbency , cut money, corruption and power wielded by nephew Abhishek Banerjee would come to the fore. And it would be not easy to be back after five years in opposition as the party banks singularly on the charisma of Mamata Banerjee a street- fighter ( an attribute used when she took on the Left and ousted them after 34 years in 2011) . She is now 66, and not getting younger too. But a win for the TMC would put under the carpet all these pressing issues. As there is a saying Joh Jeeta Wohi Sikandar .
On the other hand, Suvendu in-fact has put his entire political career at stake in this do- or die clash . A win would hypothetically as of now would make him a strong claimant to be chief minister while a loss would mean political wilderness for good. For BJP too a loss would be catastrophic and prove that the high campaign blitz was nothing but another damp squib. And its narrative was only high on rhetoric but not finding acceptance among the people . So wo wins this much talked about Khela would be known on May 2. Till then watch this space .