Top BJP leaders are speaking against Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress (TMC) publicly for sure but are they genuinely eager to see the ruling party of West Bengal lose the upcoming elections that have become a fierce battle of prestige now?
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Amit Shah's 'hidden message' in a press conference
Take for example, the case of BJP president Amit Shah. Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi who lashed out at the TMC in a rally in the state a few days ago, Shah also slammed the ruling party on the issue of corruption. But his words uttered at a press conference in Kolkata on Tuesday, if watched closely, will reveal that the BJP will have no regrets if the TMC wins the upcoming elections.
How does a party chief say CBI's probe has been hit by state's arrangements?
Refuting charges that the BJP and TMC are having an understanding over the Saradha chit-fund scam, Shah said the CBI investigation has been delayed because the SIT formed by the state government left the entire issue in a mess. It is quite surprising to hear these words from a party's national president. How did he know that the CBI's investigation has been hit by the SIT's goof-up? ['Maa, maati, manush' now 'bhay, bhookh, bhrashtachar: Amit Shah on Bengal]
Did Shah mean the CBI's probe is limited?
The CBI is supposed to be not under any party's influence as the 'caged parrot' debate had pointed out a few years earlier but here, we have the chief of the ruling party making remarks that clearly undermines the stature of the country's premier investigative agency. According to observers, Shah's remarks were meant to give a big relief to the TMC leadership in disguise. [Amit Shah, Mamata Banerjee cross swords over Rabindra Sangeet]
NDA should have taken an initiative in RS on Narada; it didn't take it
The charges of understanding also find a strong base from the fact that the NDA did not care to refer the recent Narada sting operation case to the ethics committee of the Rajya Sabha. If the NDA could do so in the Lok Sabha, then why not in the Upper House? [Shah has tried to show the NDA's lack of majority in the Upper House and counter questioned the Left and Congress for not taking the initiative but as the party in control, didn't the BJP have the minimum responsibility to set the ball rolling? Its leader in the Upper House, Arun Jaitley, was surprisingly silent on the matter.
The Left also said the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha clearly told them that nothing could be done if the government didn't act. Is the BJP unwilling to take up the issue just because it may need the TMC's support in the Rajya Sabha to pass important reform bills?
If sting op against Harish Rawat could be taken up so promptly, why not against the TMC?
Shah on Tuesday also dared Mamata Banerjee to seek a CBI probe in the sting operation. But the Opposition asked why is the Centre waiting for the state government to make the first move when in case of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, the Ministry of Home Affairs did not waste any time in sending the CD of the sting operation against him for forensic test? If the BJP-led government can act with such alacrity against a Congress chief minister, then why not the same against the TMC?
Minority votes are 'safe' with Mamata; a fact that assures both TMC and BJP
Another angle to the story emanates from the fact that Banerjee herself is retaliating a little against Modi even after he has launched attack on her in her own state. Prior to the general elections two years ago, the same Banerjee had gone all out to target Modi but today, she is hardly saying anything.After the Sharadha and Narada episodes, Banerjee doesn't hold the same moral ground. In 2014, she was vocal because she had the minority votes at stake but today, even with those votes in her kitty, she is not very confident, thanks to the embarrasment her party has faced post the Narada-scam and the inconvenience caused by the Left-Congress understanding.
If BJP wins, that help TMC; if TMC wins, BJP has less worries
She will be elated if the BJP maintains its 17 per cent vote-share of the general elections to ensure her lead. If those votes go to the Opposition alliance, then Banerjee will no more have a dream run, even if gets a second term.
For the BJP, too, a victory for Mamata Banerjee will be consoling. It will mean the Muslim votes haven't deserted her, a fact which will keep it interested to penetrate into Bengal's political landscape with the help of her party.
Even as far as 2019 general elections are concerned, the BJP will never want to burn its bridges with Banerjee for Modi's second attempt at forming government at the Centre might not be as smooth as the first. In serving the longer interest, it doesn't matter if West Bengal, where the saffron party has nothing to lose, is lost.