The polling in West Bengal has reached a mid-point. Only two more phases are left and there is hectic analysis and assumption about which party will come to power. Most exit polls seem to indicate that perhaps the ruling Trinamool Party might continue in the government for the second term. But the question would Mamta Raaj be the best solution for West Bengal?
While the talks of her failing to deliver the promised “Poriborton” in the state is the talk of the town, the fact remains that West Bengal is perhaps still better off than what it would have been had Left continued to rule the state. Perhaps negative vote and lack of alternative will be the primary reason why she might be voted back to power. That said, the five year score card for Trinamool in Bengal does not look too depressing either. In the sense if the Modi Government can take recluse in the burden of legacy argument, Mamata Banerjee too can claim the same. Perhaps it was a way bigger mess that the Left party created after three decades of mis-rule in the state and that coupled with an empty treasury.
There is another factor that might work in Mamata’s favour and that is the feel good element. While it is difficult for most of us sitting and staying out of Bengal to fathom, it is a big deal for generations of Bengalis staying in the state and who have almost forgotten what it means to be happy. Be it Lionel Messi coming to play an invitation soccer match in the state which is crazy about the game or the hosting of “Biswa Bangla” boutiques selling the famous sarees of Bengal or even packaging Nalen Gur in squeezable tubes, or perhaps the Mango Festival in Malda or Gobinda Bhog (Rice) Utsav in Burdwan , it all goes on to restore some bit of the Bengali Pride and happiness element.
While I am ranting about the logic of felicitating a private cricket team for winning a private event, there is something that my dad pointed out which set me thinking. He said for an average Bengali perhaps no one’s really thinking how much of a tax payer’s money is going into the golden chains bought for each player but the focus of the effervescent Bengalis is about finding a reason to celebrate, to take pride and this is exactly what Mamata is playing on.
A Congress+CPI(M) alliance at this juncture could mean the worst type of political opportunism at the helm of matters and would further take Bengal towards destruction. Therefore given the situation Mamata Banerjee stands out to be Bengal’s only bet for any potential development going forward. While a lot of work has to be done in terms of toning down the party member’s interference in the law and order situation, the communal elements in the play and their appeasement and strong measures need to be in place to curb the rising terrorist activity, it is time that Mamata Banerjee must learn from the mistakes of the past and use the second innings for constructive development if elected again. Afterall the feel good factor will wear off eventually if not accompanies by strong ground work.
Article by Sumana Sarkar