How Mamata capitalised on National Herald episode ahead of Bengal polls

Oneindia said in a recent article that the uproar over the National Herald case is going to help the Congress, contrary to what is being perceived.

For the Congress is a party that has time and again returned to prominence from a defeat or shock with a bang by riding the sympathy votes.

Mamata Banerjee

Regional parties have started shedding tears for Congress

And just as it was analysed, it can be seen that the Congress has already started gaining friends in national politics. For instance, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in the Capital for both administrative and political reasons, backed the top Congress leadership saying it doesn't feel good for a senior leader to appear in the court.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi's 70th birthday on Wednesday also gave a reason to many of the Opposition forces to come together to wish the former, giving a welcome push to the initiative to cement an anti-BJP or rather anti-Narendra Modi alliance. Parties like the Janata Dal (United) also threw its weight behind the Congress, its ally in Bihar.

[Read: Sonia Gandhi will go to jail in National Herald case: Subramanian Swamy]

A cornered Modi also had to tweet his wish to Sonia, perhaps keeping in mind the sinking story of the GST Bill.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which is a potentially strong candidate in a possible secular alliance against the NDA in days to come, though hasn't openly expressed any support, but it has kept itself well-connected with whatever is happening at the middle of the Great Indian political theatre by means of some third party.

It is doing so may be because it doesn't want to annoy its core supporters by openly backing the Congress, its original enemy. But there is no doubt that Arvind Kejriwal's party, like the Congress and others, also harbour a similar distaste for Modi and the BJP.

[Read: National Herald case: Mamata Banerjee expresses solidarity with Sonia Gandhi]

These tendencies hint at the possibility of the Congress getting a much-needed lift from the ruins, the court case notwithstanding. Whether the Gandhis really face the harsher side of law or not is for time to tell. But the very occurrence of the first family being dragged to the court is enough to generate a sympathy wave in its favour, at least in its core constituencies.

Whether there is a Modi wave or not, the Congress's presence in the DNA of Indian politics can not just be wished away. History is witness to that fact.

How Mamata Banerjee made use of National Herald episode to her benefit

But besides the Congress's own story, leaders like Mamata Banerjee also found a fantastic opportunity in the National Herald issue to prepare the grounds ahead of the Assembly polls in her state due in a few months.

Mamata, who one believes plays her cards a bit late nowadays suggesting a maturing politician in her, made her Delhi trip an occasion to taste the old alliance with the Congress. It means a lot to her for she also has her own share of worries ahead of the election.

[Read: No illegality in National Herald case, says Congress]

The upcoming election in Bengal will eventually see a ‘Mamata versus Everyone but No one' fight, thanks to the Opposition parties' existential crisis, but yet the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, by expressing her sympathy for Sonia Gandhi, executed a nice strategy of leaving all her three opponents in the state, namely, the Left, Congress and BJP, baffled.

Mamata's move will baffle all her state opponents

Mamata knows very well that the state leadership of the Congress never prefers allying with her. All or most of the factions of the Congress in Bengal are known for their strong anti-Mamata stands.

The local Congress leadership is more in favour of allying with the Left in the state polls. But just when the Left felt hesitant over backing Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case, Mamata grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

[Read: Absolute political vendetta in National herald case: Rahul Gandhi]

Now, if the Congress president pays back the favour during the elections, both the Congress's Bengal unit and the Left will be left fooled. Mamata Banerjee, thus by backing Sonia, ensured that the idea of alliance of the Opposition in the state is killed at the very onset. The opponents, on the other hand, will remain confused and suspicious of each other.

Meeting PM also a strategic move

Mamata's meeting with Sonia for political reasons and Prime Minister Modi for administrative purposes also will leave her critics perplexed but supporters happy.

By raising the unfulfilled demands of the state before the Centre, Mamata will convey to her supporters in Bengal that she has been trying her best to get her state what it deserved but the Centre isn't obliging.

And then by expressing solidarity for the Opposition party's chief, she would also give the message to the BJP leadership: If you bother me too much, I have trustworthy allies to go to. For the BJP leadership which has received a serious blow in Bihar a month back and has still not overcome it, the idea of Mamata allying with the Congress in Bengal polls would be dreadful.

For Mamata Banerjee who is also having a Saradha threat to her image of honesty, it is very important to keep the Opposition divided, even if they are too weak to take her on. That would divert the focus and keep her opponents' failure in capitalising on issues like Saradha and terrorism to topple the TMC.

The Bengal CM has nicely aligned the Saradha headache with the Congress's National Herald fiasco to reap benefits of doubt at the expense of Modi.

OneIndia News

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