Why Mamata & Jayalalithaa playing the same politics with Narendra Modi

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Why Mamata, Jaya targetting Modi
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is facing hostility across the political spectrum at the moment. Besides traditional rivals like the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Left, even past allies of the BJP like Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalithaa are launching scathing attacks on him. Are the twin attacks by the two women leaders around the same time a con-incidence or is there a definite purpose in this offensive? For none of these two leaders were as attacking as their counterparts in the Congress, SP, BSP or JD(U) and neither Modi had targetted them as he did against some other parties and their leaders.

Are Mamata and Jayalalithaa, expected to emerge as two powerful leaders after the ongoing Lok Sabha election, ganging up against Modi to convey a strong message that they two are also going to be determining factors in the national politics soon?

Such suspision has more than one sound basis and here is an analysis on why these two women have begun to target Modi, even though lately.

Mamata & Jaya won't accept Modi's 'superiority' now for they too have national ambitions

First, both these two regional leaders have a lot to gain in national politics, unlike some of the others. Both Mamata and Jayalalithaa are certain to emerge stronger in their respective states mainly because the main opposition in both West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are in a disarray at the moment. The CPI(M) in Bengal and DMK in Tamil Nadu have been hit badly of late and the Congress is of little significance in both these states.

This means that Narendra Modi, also a chief minister till now, is the biggest competitor that these women chief ministers have on the national stage at the moment and given their high degree of ambition, they are not going to give an easy way to Modi to march towards the throne in Delhi.

The TN & WB CMs can't befriend Modi openly till the Lok Sabha poll gets over

Time will tell whatever happens after the polls, but as of now, neither Mamata nor Jayalalithaa are ready to project themselves as secondary to another regional leader, no matter how much popular he is. Hence all the attack and counter-attack.

Jayalalithaa has already presented her vision as a prime minister while Mamata has been backed by national figures like Anna Hazare and Shahi Imam. This makes it necessary for the AIADMK and Trinamool chiefs to show to the country they have also something to offer.

Keeping quiet on Modi in a polarised environment could harm both women leaders

Secondly, the opositions in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have been accusing Mamata and Jayalalithaa of making a secret deal with Modi and hence were not targetting him like other parties. Ignoring this for too long could prove to be counter-productive for the two leaders for a) they are not known for their silence and b) they have a stake in the minority vote-bank. The two anbitious leaders can't afford to lose base in their own stronghold and end up being dependent on Modi after the elections. Thus, all the firing to convince the layman and minority supporters.

Both CMs are worried about the Modi wave making inroads in their states

Thirdly, both Mamata and Jayalalithaa are worried about the Narendra Modi wave making inroads in their respective states where the BJP is traditionally not a strong force. While Mamata is apprehensive about the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha backing the BJP in Darjeeling, the alliance that the saffron party has made with a number of small parties in Tamil Nadu will not leave the AIADMK chief in a peaceful mind.

Moreover, the recent meeting between Modi and Tamil superstar Rajnikanth has also not gone down well in the AIADMK circles. Jayalalithaa is desperate to increase her rally from nine in 2009 and can't afford to see Modi and his party making heavy gains at the expense of the DMK in Tamil Nadu. Hence she went after the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, despite having a cordial relation with him.

After the polls, Jaya & Mamata will require assistance, whether political or economic

But whatever be the reasons of anger and frustration, there is no doubt that both these women will need a backing after the polls to see their national ambitions getting a realistic shape. While Jayalalithaa will require a more political shelter (in terms of alliance) after the polls and can not remain a southern satrap if she wants to call the shots at the Centre, Mamata will need an economic assistance for her state's economy is in a poor shape.

After May 16, these two women could speak a different language

The debate whether Gujarat is more developed than Tamil Nadu or whether Modi is a communal leader will be irrelevant for the Bengal and Tamil Nadu chief ministers once May 16 is behind us. However, till then, it is all about using the Narendra Modi factor to their own benefit.

While Lok sabha election began in West Bengal on April 17 and will continue till May 12, Tamil Nadu will go to the poll on April 24.

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