Modi's groundwork on local issues is challenging other regional leaders
The credit for effecting this welcome change goes to Narendra Modi who, during his country-wide campaigning that took off intensely after his anointment as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, spoke on issues relevant to places he has been to. It hasn't been a rosy journey for the man but yet he continued to steal the show at rallies that he addressed at remote corners of India, thanks to extensive researches on the ground reality.
The Modi-Mamata clash is the biggest impact of the ‘local-turned-national project'
Modi has faced challenges whenever he has spoken on local issues in other states but the biggest hurdle surfaced in West Bengal where the ruling party and particularly its chief retaliated against him in the fiercest possible way. The language was unforgiving, so was the intention. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a desperate bid to prove before the world her ‘secular' credentials, unleashed a riot of the vocabulary to curb the appeal of Modi in her state. Her party also allegedly indulged in violence during the election phases in the state to prevent the ‘newly found' enemy in the saffron party from making any mark.
Mamata has no defence on points Modi has raised, hence she is using foul language
But can Banerjee succeed in her mission to stop Modi who has raised some pertinent questions on issues in West Bengal that can influence the country as a whole? No and certainly not in the hollow manner in which she is defending her government.
If Mamata wants to go national, she should also know that her state won't remain isolated
The Trinamool Congress chief must understand that politics is a two-way sword. If she is ambitious to play a bigger role in New Delhi and emerge a key political player in national politics, she should also accept the fact that affairs in her own state can not remain isolated from national politics.
Infiltration is not a Bengal-specific issue
Banerjee has accused Modi of trying to divide Bengal by seeking deportation of the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and asked him to keep away from Bengal. But boundless infiltration from Bangladesh is not Bengal's own matter and it threatens the interest of the entire nation. She hasn't taken up the critical issue in three years and hence has no right to abuse if somebody else has addressed it.
Was there any need for Banerjee to cross swords with Modi?
Banerjee has also attacked Modi after the latter spoke on Saradha scam, perhaps she felt that her image of honesty was under threat. [Read: CBI to probe Saradha, says SC]
But was there any need for Banerjee to cross swords with Modi, who extended an olive branch in the beginning of his campaign, and allow him to take up issues that could prove costly for her in the long run?
Are Bengali politicians cut off from reality?
Banerjee has proved again why Bengali politicians have a mind isolated from the reality. Leading a state which is in a shambles after 34 years of misrule of the Left, Banerjee needed to have a fresh strategy in place to deal with a new regime at the Centre.
Bangladeshi infiltration isn't an issue of TMC or Bengal but a national one
She should have engaged with the alternative leadership which has strongly emerged in the country over the past few months and create an opportunity to extract maximum leverage from the next government so that her state moves forward. It would also have done wonders to curb whatever anti-incumbency mood Bengal has witnessed in the last three years. But just like the goof-up she did in New Delhi a few months ago by trusting a strategic Anna Hazare, she again let herself and her state down by unnecessarily locking horns with Modi despite the latter's open-mindedness towards her.
Politicians like Mamata don't hesitate to put the nation under threat for their own interests
The problem with politicians like Mamata Banerjee is that they are too shortsighted and selfish to do any good for the community as a whole. They represent petty and divisive politics and don't bother even if that endangers the nation's interest.
If she could oppose Teesta water-sharing treaty with Bangladesh, why not infiltration from Bangladesh now?
Banerjee made a major interference in the India-Bangladesh bilateral relation by opposing the Teesta water-sharing Treaty, citing the interest of her state. But she is silent when illegal entry by Bangladeshis in hordes is posing a serious threat to the socio-economy of her state. Why? Was show of strength over a hapless UPA II government led by a weak prime minister her priority rather than actual work? If that is the case, then tackling Narendra Modi will be a different ball-game, Banerjee must remember.
By choosing a warpath, Banerjee has actually trapped herself and it will require another self-humiliation for her to get back on the track. She can control her cadres in West Bengal and kill a dying Left but she has little control on the advances that Modi is making.
It will take a self-humiliation for Mamata to get back on the track now
The best way would have been to ally with the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, even if after the polls, but by making the animosity far too prominent, Banerjee now would have to make a lot of back calculations. The moral high-ground that she and her party is taking vis-à-vis Modi is hollow for it is already known that Banerjee never opposed Modi when the 2002 riots were fresh and kicking in the Indian political scene.
Mamata hasn't learned from her neighbour Nitish on dealing with Modi
The TMC chief hasn't learned either from her neighbour Nitish Kumar who faced adversity since dumping the BJP in Bihar on ideological grounds and is struggling to remain in contention in his own state now.
Banerjee perhaps has her own strategies in mind when it comes to Modi but her stubborn stand is certainly going to hurt an already injured West Bengal more.