The Lost Opportunities and the Fall of Mamata Banerjee- Unprecedented and Unparalleled

Written by: Pathikrit Payne

With CBI summoning Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra in the Saradha Chit Fund case, the noose around the neck of some of the big honchos of TMC seems to be getting tighter.

While TMC and its party chief, Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of Bengal, has been putting up a brave face in the midst of explosive revelations surrounding the Saradha Chit Fund scam and the details emerging about the Jamaat terror factories in Bengal, there is no doubt that at heart TMC knows it well what a great opportunity it has missed of developing and resurrecting Bengal in spite of getting a stellar mandate in the 2011 Bengal assembly election.

Mamata Banerjee

From being a beacon of hope which dismantled the Left bastion and ended the 34 years of Left rule in Bengal, the mess that Mamata Banerjee's TMC has created over the last three years have made many, who had disdain for the Left regime, consider that era a golden one when compared to the present day mayhem that defines Bengal.

The Kunal Ghosh Factor....TMC's Achiles' Heel

In spite of major efforts being made by TMC to distance itself from Saradha, the continued reiteration of Kunal Ghosh, a Rajya Sabha MP of TMC and a prime accused in the scam, that TMC top brass including the Bengal CM is involved in the scam and the alleged attempt of suicide he made after warnings he gave that he would do the same if the top TMC brass involved in the scam are not arrested, have all made the situation very uncomfortable for TMC.

In investigation of scams like that of Chit Fund , tracing the money and convicting the perpetrators is always a challenging task. However CBI's slow and steady approach seems to be towards making a fool proof case without any legal loophole. Apart from Madan Mitra, Srinjoy Bose, another sitting MP of TMC has also been summoned by CBI for questioning. Before this, a close aide of Mamata Banerjee, painter Shubho Prasanna and some other TMC members were too interrogated by CBI in the Saradha related case.

Not Just Saradha but Jamaat revelations are a major embarrassment too....

However it is not just the Saradha case that has become a major albatross round the neck of Mamata Banerjee led TMC. NIA investigation into the accidental bomb blast in a nondescript village of Burdwan exposed the very high level of penetration of Bangladesh based radical extremist group Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JUMB) in Bengal. Opposition parties were quick to point fingers towards the alleged nexus that existed between certain sections of TMC and Jamaat for a quid pro quo understanding in which Jamaat would help TMC win elections in Bengal in lieu of support for JUMB to set up its base in Bengal.

These allegations have seriously dented the image of TMC and in addition to that the revelations about the alleged attempts of Bengal Police to hush up the matter by terming the entire incident of accidental IED blast as one of country made bombs as well as the initial resistance from the Bengal Government towards handing over the investigations to NIA, have also not gone down well with the people of Bengal.

Needless to say that BJP's Bengal unit has been extremely successful in leveraging the situation and out of nowhere it has become a major political force to reckon with, as a result of a large number of disgruntled supporters of TMC and left parties continue to throng BJP and swell its numbers.

Add to it....the Industrial Mess and worsening law & order situation

Nevertheless the predicament of Mamata does not end here only. The industrial scenario in Bengal continues to be a sorry state of affair with not only major investments have dried up, one can also witness reluctance on the part of many Bengal based investors to stay back there or invest further. Issues of labor violence and political highhandedness of the ruling party have further added to the environment of disgruntlement and frustration.

This apart, worsening law & order situation, inability of the police to come to the rescue of the common man, the growing apprehension about the neutrality of Bengal Police and its visible partisan activities in favor of the ruling regime, political violence and retributions have all created an extremely negative environment in Bengal. Most of the intellectuals of Bengal, who had vociferously supported Mamata Banerjee during the last assembly election, have deserted her now.

The Fall of Mamata- from the zenith of popularity in 2011 to the nadir of disenchantment

To say that Mamata Banerjee does not realize her declining popularity would be a misnomer. Not that she does no more have her own fan following but the fact remains that the aura and hype that surrounded her when she singlehandedly demolished the left bastion, have all vanished now. Today her desperation and panic is visible by her willingness to forge alliance with Left parties to keep BJP at bay, that every Left parties who have been are sworn enemies for long.

Bottomline remains that Mamata Banerjee had a golden mandate to bring back the glory of Bengal and she not only wasted it but also allowed her vote bank politics of appeasement and the issue of alleged Jamaat-TMC link have polarized Bengal like never before. Further, TMC's absolute lack of party discipline and inability to have leash on the workers and party leaders at the grassroots level have given rise to an unprecedented level of harassment and fear among the populace.

Bengal, the real loser with another lost opportunity of resurrection

How TMC would fare in the next assembly election and how many seats BJP would win, all these are perhaps secondary issues. But what is the real cause of concern and worry is the fact the Bengal lost yet another golden opportunity to modernize and industrialize itself. If things continue the way it is now, both in terms of drying up of investments and worsening law & order situation where even the police personnel are getting beaten up by ruling party workers, then leave alone resurrection of Bengal, perhaps even darker days are waiting for Bengal.

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