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Why RSS-BJP Have Abandoned West Bengal

February 23, 2022 11:26 IST
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'The RSS-BJP fight against TMC excesses seem to have been limited to fighting the assembly poll, not coming to the defence of ordinary Bengalis who are being crushed daily by Trinamool goons,' points out Virendra Kapoor.

IMAGE: A TMC candidate celebrates winning the West Bengal civic polls. Photograph: PTI Photo

In the ongoing focus on the assembly polls in UP, Punjab and other states, scant attention has been paid to the fact that the Trinamool Congress swept the local municipal polls in West Bengal, virtually decimating all Opposition.

Neither the BJP nor the Communists put up even a semblance of a fight while the Trinamool swept all before it in all municipalities across the state.

In the case of the BJP in particular, after the high-pitched contest in the 2021 assembly poll, the state party unit is in complete disarray, with the central leadership taking its eye off and the dispirited and dejected rank and file deserting the party in droves due to the TMC's pressure tactics.

Such is the public cynicism all around, especially in large sections of the media, that a most brazen abuse of power and intimidation to browbeat the Opposition into submission has gone wholly unnoticed.

That the Trinamool did not have to resort to intimidation to win the civic elections was always crystal clear.

Yet, such was its arrogance that it was determined to ensure that there was not even a token opposition in the municipal polls.

And with that undemocratic objective in view, it resorted to naked abuse of power while the police andlocal administration looked on passively.

Nominated member of the Rajya Sabha and senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta cites the case of a BJP woman activist in a small town in Hooghly district to prove the point about widespread hijacking of the poll by Trinamool goons.

Despite all odds, the lady filed the nomination for the municipal poll from a ward where she was a known figure.

That was the start of her troubles. Soon after, her closest friend was badly beaten up by TMC goons.

A day later, Trinamool thugs landed at her house, threatening to harm her toddler son should she not withdraw her nomination.

When she did not withdraw, two days later they came to pick up her son.

Only when she raised a shindig and people gathered to rescue her did they leave the child behind.

But with the warning that failure to withdraw the nomination would soon cost her her son.

With no one ready to protect her, she withdrew the nomination.

Of course, what the Trinamool goons did was straight out of the Marxist copybook.

For over thirty years, Mamata and her supporters were at the receiving end of the violent, strong-arm tactics of the Communists.

But the people elected Trinamool in the expectation that they would be rid of the Communist mafia raj in the streets of West Bengal once she came to power.

Unfortunately, she too is aping the very Marxists whom she had struggled hard to overthrow.

The RSS-BJP fight against the excesses of the ruling TMC seem to have been limited to fighting the assembly poll, not coming to the defence of ordinary Bengalis who are being crushed daily by Trinamool goons who extract money from small businessmen, hawkers, factory workers a la the Communists.

Indeed, the bulk of Trinamool workers at the local level are former activists of the Left parties.

Why the RSS-BJP have virtually abandoned West Bengal is not clear.

In fact, the BJP's central leaders have made little effort to restore a semblance of order at the senior level in the party's state unit.

We only hope that this cynical approach does not stem from the view in some quarters that with the minority population growing sizably in recent years, West Bengal would automatically be ripe for it to fall in the BJP's lap in a couple of years a la Assam.


Nasser on the hijab

A colleague WhatsApped a video clip of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the maker of modern Egypt, speaking to a gathering wherein he mentions how a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamist organisation, asked him to make wearing the hijab in Egyptian educational institutions compulsory.

As Nasser mentions this, the audience erupts with mocking twitters with then Egyptian president himself joining in.

Nasser then goes on to reveal how he questioned his interlocutor, asking him whether any of the Prophet's wives wore a hijab. The answer was no.

Nasser brought the house down when he told his audience that the daughter of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was studying at a medical college, herself did not wear a hijab.

You can view the clip on You Tube. In most authoritarian Islamic nations, the practice of hijab is hardly observed.


Vishwas vs Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was forced on the back foot a few days ahead of the poll in Punjab.

With poet-stage performer Kumar Vishwas, once his close colleague in the Aam Aadmi Party, throwing light on his alleged opportunism, Kejriwal found himself diverting attention, resorting to typical political speak about public welfare and social service.

He chose not to rebut Vishwas's charges, probably suspecting that the latter might have supportive evidence.

Ahead of the 2017 assembly poll, apparently Kejriwal told Vishwas that he (Kejriwal) would become chief minister of Punjab.

When Vishwas countered, saying a non-Sikh would not be acceptable as chief minister in Punjab, Kejriwal allegedly told him he would deal with the Khalistanis to ensure that he got the post.

Further, according to Vishwas, when told that Balwant Mann, the AAP member of the Lok Sabha and a contender for the CM's post, would stake his claim, Kejriwal said he would ask another aspirant to challenge him.

'In the resulting discord, we will have the MLAs demand that in the interest of party unity Kejriwal should be persuaded to head the government...'

The above charge was first made by Vishwas several months ago, but was not denied.

On the eve of the polling in Punjab, Vishwas alleged that for the sake of power, Kejriwal could go to any extent, even compromise with pro-Khalistani elements.

The fact that he had stayed overnight at the house of one such activist while campaigning in the 2017 election has now come to haunt Kejriwal, with both Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi reminding the electorate about these links.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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