At a time when Punjab farmers are on protest for over 44 days against the Centre’s BJP government to revoke three farm bills, BJP president J P Nadda today invoked Bengal farmers to defeat the TMC government in the state.
He vowed on ` Maa Durga’ or Goddess Durga to defeat Mamata Banerjee in the up coming polls and said ` in the name of Maa Durga the farmers of Bengal will bring a change in Bengal.
Today was his second visit to Bengal. He was on a day long tour of East Burdwan. His earlier visit was to Diamond Harbour in South 24 pargana, where his convoy was attacked by supporters of opposite party. Invesitgations are still on and three high ranking police officers have been transferred as punitive action.
Interestingly, in 2003, RSS, considered BJP’s soul, held Mamata Banerjee as ` Maa Durga’ while she held RSS members as ‘true patriots’. Over the years relations between Mamata and BJP have soured and neither would like to go back on their earlier observations. After breaking away from Congress and forming TMC in 1998, Mamata fought her first elections in Bengal as BJP’s ally. She was also part of the BJP cabinet for a long time.
CPM accuses Mamata for bringing BJP to Bengal. Until 2014 BJP had remained a marginal party in Bengal acting as a junior ally of TMC in 1998, 1999 and 2004. In 2001 and 2006 Mamata chose Congress as her ally. Even in the 2011 elections when Mamata toppled the 34-year rule of the CPM government BJP’s vote share was a meagre 4.1 per cent. In 2014 under the Modi wave BJP got 17 % votes. In 2016 assembly elections BJP’s vote share declined to around 10% while TMC’s vote share was 45 per cent. In 2019 lok sabha elections it surged to 40 % shaking the TMC base. The party won 18 out of the 42 seats in the state. Surveys suggest around 1 crore voters of Left had shifted allegiance to BJP with slogans being raised ‘age Ram for Bam’. The Left and Congress base in the state was completely eroded by BJP.
According to political experts in a span of only eight years BJP rise of votes from 4% in 2011 to 40 % by 2019 is noticeable and significant. It is likely to leave a major impact in the 2021 state polls.
Between 24 and 31 January the state BJP will organise ‘Krishak Bhoj’ or farmer feeding and grain collection programme. BJP has targetted 40 thousand gram sabhas or local village bodies to organise the state’s farmers against the state’s TMC government. He said, the party is hopeful that a BJP government will soon be formed in the state. Once it is done ‘Krishak Nidi’ awards will also be introduced. He claimed that the Modi government has increased the farm budget by 6 times but West Bengal ranks 24th among all states in terms of agriculture income. Mamata is not only blocking farmers’ income but also obstructing health insurace facilities to 4.67 crore people of Bengal.
Mamata, recently applied to PM Kisan for state funding of farmers. She had been denying PM Kisan facilities as she had devised Krishak Bandhu programme in the state. She is also opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ayushman Bharat programme and has introduced Swasthya Sathi scheme in the state. The facilities of the scheme have recently been broad based from the earlier BPL category. On his last visit to state in December 2020, Union home minister Amit Shah had pointed out how Bengal was falling behind other states in terms of industrialization and growth and how the farmers of the state are deprived of a Rs 6000 direct benefit benefit transfer of funds because of Mamata.
Nadda offered puja at Radha Gobinda Mandir and Sarvamangala Mandir. He also visited the house of a Mathura Mondol, a local farmer where he took his lunch. It is significant that Mr. Shah took lunch in the house of an adivasi leader. Mamata dubs Delhi based BJP leaders as ‘outsiders or Bohiragato’ in Bengal. BJP organised a road show between Birhata and Curzon gate in Burdwan. He participated in a BJP core committee meeting.