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Bengal polls get `personal’ as Mamata, Shah call in families to fight

by panchali

Nirmalya Mukherjee
The ensuing 2021 Bengal polls today got personal with Union home minister Amit Shah once again raising the `Bua-Bhatija’ slogan and Mamata Banerjee hitting back by pulling his son Jay Shah into picture.
Mamata said, “ your son Jay Shah’s activities will also be investigated.’’. Mamata challenged Shah to a fight with her nephew Avisekh Banerjee and then fight her.
A couple of years ago the `Bua-Bhatija’ slogan was raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi targetting Mamata and her nephew Abhisekh Banerjee, Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour. BJP leaders including Shah are only following his foot steps. Modi is expected to make his third visit to state on 22 February.
On his fourth visit to city Shah conducted impressive rallies and road shows in the Mamata bastion of South 24 Parganas- Namkhana and Kakdwip. He visited the Bharat Sevasram Sangha in Ballygunje and went to Sri Aurobindo’s birth place in Shakespeare Sarani.
BJP has targetted the Bengali culture and is therefore invoking religious and spiritual and cultural sentiments linked to Bengal. It seems to be an anti-dote against Mamata’s `Bohiragato or Outsider’ barb. Narendra Modi’s speech at the Victoria Memorial to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is an example where he upheld Bengal’s culture and a beacon for country’s advancement.
Requesting anonymity, a political observer said that the BJP government at the Centre is in power for seven years but never before have BJP leaders visited Bharat Sevasram Sangha or Rishi Aurobindo’s birth place. Even during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls neither Modi nor Shah had visited these spots. These are only political strategies and gimmicks to invoke Bengali sentiments for votes.
A few days ago, former TMC MP from Lok Sabha Sugata Bose had criticized Modi for partially quoting Sri Aurobindo. On 23rd January Modi visited Netaji Bhavan. Bose had disallowed all BJP leaders inside the Bhavan as he felt that the Prime Minister reserves the singular right of paying respect to Netaji and should not be accompanied by his party men.
Although polls to Bengal are yet to be announced TMC and BJP have started their campaign. TMC suffered a jolt in 2019 Lok Sabha polls with BJP winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats. Even today Shah continued with his `lunch politics’ by visiting a sub-altern home in Namkhana – Kakdwip area in S 24 Parganas.
Not quite convinced in gathering muslim minority votes, BJP is targetting backward class and caste vote in the ensuing state polls. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls BJP could manage only 11 per cent muslim minority vote but was ahead of TMC in 121 assembly seats.
While Shah pointed out that Mamata’s aim is to see her nephew Abhisekh in the chief minister’s chair, Mamata said BJP has developed a habit of targetting families. On his earlier campaigns Shah had pointed out that there are 3 laws in the state – first for Bhatija or Abhisekh, second for votes (by which he meant minority appeasement) and third for the general people, with least priority. The state BJP has lined up a series of visits by Modi and Shah upholding them as principal election campaigners.

Disclaimer
This news article is prepared or accomplished by Nirmalya Mukherjee in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of kolkatatoday.com

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