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Is Mamata the only alternative?

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on December 20, 2021 with No Comments

Mamata Banerjee after registering a win in the assembly elections in WestBegal has been going all out and is doing all possible to create an image of a national leader. She has been getting her party workers back from BJP, poaching leaders from other parties and creating furore with her statements.  And that is another way of hers to keep her afloat in national politics.

Mamata Banerjee, who was on a visit to Maharashtra last week , met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar . She was asked if Pawar should be declared as the chairperson of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Mamata Banerjee said, “What UPA? There is no UPA now. What is UPA? What will he do sitting there?” She also took a dig at the Congress leadership and called for unity of regional parties to take on the BJP at the national level. Next was the turn of her political adviser Prashant Kishor

 to train his guns at the grand old party Congress.
The poll strategist took to Twitter to once again target Rahul Gandhi and take a dig at his electoral failures.  While he recognised the importance of the idea that Congress as a party represented, he demanded that opposition leadership be decided democratically. “The IDEA and SPACE that Congress represents is vital for a strong opposition. But Congress’ leadership is not the DIVINE RIGHT of an individual especially, when the party has lost more than 90% elections in last 10 years. Let opposition leadership be decided Democratically,” Prashant Kishor tweeted. Soon to join the bandwagon was Derek O’Brien, the former quiz master and the party’s spokeperson, and called on Congress leaders to “wake up and smell the coffee”, hoping that the strong brew would alert them that the ground is fast shifting under their feet.

The way the leaders of TMC have been acting over the last few months is astounding. No doubt the party has given the BJP a humbling defeat in West Bengal, but going overboard with their statements only reflects their newly acquired arrogance. Mamata Banerjee has proved her influence over the voters in West Bengal. At the same time, she must be aware that winning in West Bengal is different at winning at National Level.
Hence, she is tying up with fellow regional parties such as the NCP and the Shiv Sena, AAP Aadmi Party. These tie ups could be strategic as in Utta Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand — the Hindi heartland — the TMC has no presence whatsoever. In the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, again the TMC has no presence. Nor is the TMC present in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Can a party that hopes to be a national alternative to the BJP be absent in 16 major states of the country?
Any  united front must be based on certain foundational consensus. First is that the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) should not be a contestant for the top job. And Sonia Gandhi has a track record of refusing the crown twice, in 2004 and 2009. Will she ask Rahul Gandhi not to aspire to it if the party were to emerge as the single largest party in 2024? Or better still, please advise Mamata Banerjee to contest in Uttar Pradesh and test the waters. There, it must be said, Priyanka Gandhi is at least fighting the big battle, unlike others who are buying up MPs with lost causes.  


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