West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in a fix nowadays. In every second issue, she is finding herself caught in the middle of some contradiction. Take for example, the issue of confrontation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Banerjee feels (she told in an interview) the media has been more kind to the latter and he is lucky to have got the opportunity to become the prime minister of the country with just 31 per cent of votes. Banerjee is perhaps feeling upset that she is not getting the same kind of media focus and whatever she or her party is doing is getting negative publicity. [Mamata's minister. MP summoned by CBI]
Question 1: Modi was once media's biggest foe, did Mamata forget that?
Has Banerjee forgot that Modi was not a media's darling till the other day and many of whom were bashing him even after that landslide mandate on May 16, have meekly fallen in line to toe his popularity. Banerjee herself also found the media kind when she defeated a 34-year-old regime.
She was congratulated even by foreign leaders. Now, after ruining the chances to change Bengal for the better, she is blaming the first-past-the-post system of Indian democracy for Modi's rise as the prime minister. What was her percentage of vote-share in the historic assembly election in Bengal in 2011?
Banerjee also said during the interview that she would resign as the chief minister if anybody could prove that she had links to the Saradha chit fund scam which has put Bengal on the headlines for wrong reasons. And while she said this, the CBI summoned one of her ministers and an MP in connection to the chit fund scam.
Question 2: Does Mamata Banerjee feel that the law will allow her to take calls on chief ministership if the allegations are proved to be true?
What does Banerjee mean now by seeking evidence while her own police had probed the matter in the first 13 months or so after the chit fund scam went burst? And if the allegations are proved, it wouldn't depend on her to quit the office. Latest example being J Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu. [HC dismisses PIL against Jayalalithaa's dismissal as chief minister]
Saradha & Burdwan have hit Mamata's image, both as a politician & administrator
Moreover, Banerjee has repeatedly backed the minister the CBI has summoned. But she was less kind to journalist-turned-MP Kunal Ghosh who accused Banerjee directly and allegedly attempted suicide inside jail a few days ago. If Banerjee indeed is clear on her stand, then why has her approach been different towards different people of her own party?
Question 3: Is Mamata trying to negotiate with the BJP even though she is putting up an ideological battle against 'communal' forces up front?
And thirdly, even if Banerjee is speaking vocally against the BJP-led government at the Centre and going all out to stop 'communal' forces in her state, why did she meet important leaders like the Union home minister and finance minister of the NDA government during her visit to New Delhi to attend an event of the Congress?
The agencies that are probing the Saradha scam and the terror links unearthed in the wake of the Khagragarh blasts in Burdwan last month, namely, the ED, CBI and NIA are under the above-mentioned ministries. So...
While projecting her fight with the BJP as an ideological one and keeping options to join a secular platform open, is Banerjee also engaging in talks with the BJP's top brass apart from Modi to reach the negotiation table? Afterall, the ideological battle is less relevant for the leader whose image has come under a serious threat, both as a politician and an administrator, thanks to the dual evils of Saradha and terror.
Mamata Banerjee's defence thinning fast
Banerjee's defence is thinning fast. No matter how much she puts the blame on her predecessors and tries to prove that her government has taken steps to compensate those who lost their savings in the Saradha scam, the chief minister has clearly lost control of things at the moment.
The situation has deteriorated so much for the Trinamool Congress chief that even lesser leaders are blaming her openly. Her MLAs have also blasted her government's 'slack' performance, caring little for the top leadership's caution. Banerjee has been known for her dogged struggle against the once mighty Left in the state.
But she had little to lose in those years. Now, with the number of enemies doubling (anti-incumbency and BJP), the woman in power has a whole lot to lose. And that is why she looked upset at times during the interview.