Always fighting the Left, Mamata wasn't ready for the right

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The latest confrontation between Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress (TMC) was bound to happen sooner or later. The TMC was feeling frustrated with Modi's initial praises for its supremo Mamata Banerjee for it had an urgency to show to the world that the kind words didn't mean a probable tie-up between the two parties before or after the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

TMC launched attack on Modi to consolidate its minority vote-bank

Hence, Mamata Banerjee and her party leaders decided not to reciprocate Modi's goodwill gesture and began attacking him. This was being done parallelly to the projection of the federal front, away from the first, second and third fronts. The plan of the TMC was simplistic and was encouraged by the prospects of the party emerging as the third largest party in the current polls. The party leadership began targetting Modi more with an aim to consolidate the minority vote-bank which it has been appeasing ever since coming to power in 2011. This strategy has a resemblance with Lalu Prasad's arresting Lal Krishna Advani in Samastipur in Bihar in 1990.

But TMC's plan ran into troubled water during election, thanks to Rahul Gandhi

But what the TMC thought to be working to its advantage looked to be counter-productive once the ghosts of the Saradha scam revived, following the provocation by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Malda earlier this month. The BJP, sensing an opportunity, soon began tightening the screws. The Saradha scam could become a handy weapon for the BJP in the coming days to extract support out of the TMC and tame its ambitious leadership on the national stage.

Panic gripped TMC the moment the honest image of Mamata was targetted

The possibility of such a scenario has left the TMC a rattled lot at the moment and it has gone all-out after Modi after the latter purposefully targetted Banerjee's image of honesty, her biggest asset as a politician to this day.

Panic set in among the TMC in no time for the party, which banks on its supremo's public image for all its political gains, had never experienced this, at least in the last 5-6 years when the Left's decline was already underway. The retaliation was sharp but extremely limited (to the Gujarat riots of 2002) and is unlikely to produce any consequences in favour of Banerjee.

Mamata understanding every bit but is too stubborn to rectify her moves

It is not that Banerjee and her party aren't understanding this. But she is well-known for her stubborn political stands and is going on sharpening the attack on Modi further. The end result will be disastrous for her party.

Modi has targetted Mamata's honesty to put her entire party in a spot

The problem for Banerjee is that she has opened a battle on several fronts now. Her administration is already struggling to deal with the Saradha scam in a smart way and now with opening another front against a man who has emerged as the favourite this election season, Banerjee is in a way blocking the exit route of her own party. The more she attacks Modi now to win an ideological battle, the more she is likely to perish in the moral war.

Modi has played the game smartly by targetting Mamata on the question of corruption

If Banerjee has been repeatedly attacking Modi over the same Gujarat pogroms, Modi has paid back the coin smartly by targetting her image and administrative vulnerability. These are the two issues in which Modi himself looks invincible at the moment and like all other opponents, Banerjee too will find hard to counter.

Mamata still miles away from emerging as a reliable national leader

Banerjee must understand that she is yet miles away from emerging as a responsible national political figure. She is a champion in dealing with an already exhausted Left in West Bengal but when it comes to the national stage, the TMC chief has some serious limitations, even though she has a decent experience in managing central ministries. Recently, we saw how Anna Hazare made her look fool in the national capital and Banerjee had nothing else to do but retreat. Now, the escalation of the attack on Modi is proving again that Banerjee is too rattled by the BJP's advance towards West Bengal and a strong leadership it has offered to the nation.

Mamata should make peace with Modi and address her state's issues

The best option for Banerjee is to make a peace deal with Modi and try to extract the maximum she can for her state's development. But she is more concerned with her minority vote-bank and personal ambition than the interests of West Bengal. The Saradha scam has disrupted the grand plan mid-way. Banerjee is understandly disturbed. And a disturbed mind can never think the right things.

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