Periodic elections are a common feature of any democracy. The West Bengal elections would have been as common as the other state elections held at the same time, had it not been for the hype created by anyone other than the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India. “Do Mai, Didi Gai” Repeated in one public meeting after another, their war became a boom. Despite the application of the code of conduct, there is no restriction on boasting and making claims by political party leaders during elections. But when someone makes a claim less than the Prime Minister or the Home Minister, the person takes it more seriously. The reason is simple – they receive information not only from political sources, but also from various government agencies at their disposal. So when the country’s prime minister and home minister say “Do Mai, Didi Gai” Or to make any other such claim, it has to be taken more seriously. They kept repeating it when they met after the meeting ‘Didi’ Already the election was lost and other mind-games were being played. They made a new low in political discourse and used shameful language.
But, this is not the only issue that the election raises. Why was this kind of hype created around the West Bengal elections alone? The answer to my mind is simple. I have to give credit to the Modi-Shah team for planning things. Even after marginalizing leaders like LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and others, he would not have become the Prime Minister, but for such pre-planning. They calculated that there were no current chief ministers in any of the other states for a third term. And in any of these states, a potential chief minister would not have got the impression that he would contest elections at the national level like Mamata Banerjee. No one would have risked the establishment of Delhi with a winner like him. So if they want to win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Mamata has to be stopped at any cost.
Hence the deployment of such vast resources by the BJP in West Bengal; Hence frequent visits to the state by the Prime Minister and Home Minister; So complete neglect by them through the raging covid crisis; So in his rallies by the Prime Minister, especially at Asansol, floating on huge (arranged) crowds in complete disregard of the Kovid norms. But as shown for the result, nothing worked for them, as their approach was fundamentally flawed. West Bengal is not like other states in India. It has its own distinctive cultural traditions, its own rich language and its own pride. His people will not be affected by some outsiders who came to Bengal at the time of elections and their imitation and irritation. He was not impressed when the Prime Minister acted like a thug, when he thought he was controlling the crowd by chanting. ‘Didi-o Didi’. When these outsiders showed complete ignorance of the facts, it was the Home Minister of India who claimed that Tagore was born in Santiniketan. a Gurudev-No one was impressed by the cultivation of special dated for this occasion. And finally, they liked the insulting insults on ‘Daughter of Bengal’ by these outsiders day by day.
Separately, the Congress has suffered a major defeat in these elections. The Left has at least won Kerala and made history by becoming the first government to be re-elected in 40 years. There was little hope for the Congress in Assam but it failed there too. Now is the time for serious introspection for the Congress party. He will not be able to postpone it forever. If a non-Gandhi wants to lead the Congress party, so be it, otherwise we will soon have a ‘Congress-Free India ‘. It would be really sad. The Congress party must live, if not for itself, then at least for the country.
In the meantime, the future hints. Opposition parties will have to come together and start a strategy for 2024. But this time the road to Delhi passes through Lucknow. There the yogi government has been a disappointing failure on many fronts. It is a crop ready to be harvested. So the immediate target of the opposition should be Uttar Pradesh. A world class six-lane highway built by Akhilesh Yadav connects Delhi and Lucknow, reducing travel time between the two cities and making travel pleasant. So, capture Lucknow in 2022. Delhi will be just a few hours away.
Yashwant Sinha was a former BJP leader, Finance Minister (1998-2002) and External Affairs Minister (2002-2004). He is currently the Vice President of the Trinamool Congress.
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