It seems Trinamool Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has forgotten the days when she (then opposition leader) would come on the roads, hold rallies, call long-bandhs screaming President’s Rule in the state during the Left Front regime. She even cried about the then police atrocities and accused Police Minister and state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya of instigating his police against her and her party members. Banerjee did not hesitate to hold the city hostage as regular bandh calls would paralyze normal life from business to education and even had its impact on running of trains, flights as people often would miss their trains, flights due to massive traffic chaos in the city and districts.
On Tuesday today, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had called for ‘Nabanna Abhijan’ (march towards Nabanna) against the alleged corruption charges hurled at numerous Trinamool leaders. Mamata Banerjee’s police carried out brutal attacks on the BJP workers who claimed to have taken out a “peaceful protest march”. The protesters were stopped at various points in the city and brutally beaten up. Trinamool goons did not spare the women workers also. Stones were pelted at BJP protesters, there were instances of arson that spread terror among the city dwellers who tried to return to their homes apprehending more disturbances as the day passes by. At many places protesters trains were stopped. Several BJP leaders, including Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, Locket Chatterjee, Taapshi Mondol and Dibankar Gharami were detained. Senior BJP leader and former journalist Swapan Dasgupta was injured among others.
However, as expected, the police said, they did not obstruct the protesters at any point. There were few road blocks that would be lifted shortly. The police agreed to have closed the Second Howrah Bridge (Hoogly Bridge) and Howrah Bridge for some time and that too would be lifted once the traffic is cleared. There were no reply on how would the people going towards stations commute.
There were no reaction from the Supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also the Police Minister. Trinamool spokespersons on different television channels are trying to project the brutality as instigation. However, all this is drifting the party away from the masses that once had the catchlines like “Bodla Noi Bodol Chai” (not revenge but change) and “Maa, Mati, Manush”. BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, said, “Its total lawlessness in the state and its clear from their frustration that Trinamool is loosing grounds. BJP will come in power, nobody can stop”. Incidentally, Adhikari had defeated the Supremo in the 2022 Assembly Polls in the state from Nandigram.
From Sharaddha to Narada and most recently, Trinamool leaders including heavy-weight Partha Chatterjee, Anubrata Mandol have been nabbed by the ED and CBI over money laundering cases. Chatterjee, was exposed how he had wasted tax-payer’s money to buy expensive gifts for his ‘numerous’ girlfriends.
In such a situation, its quite natural for the party to come on the defensive and fight with anybody who raise the question of honesty that Banerjee boasts off. Its very difficult for the party to eschew fact that people are drifting apart from Mamata Banerjee, and her Trinamool.