Kolkata, April 30: A number of allegations of corruption against her party leaders have seen Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee going a bit defensive in this Assembly election in West Bengal. On Saturday, when Banerjee's own fate will be decided in Bhabanipur, the ruling party will hope that the BJP will maintain its show of 2014 to stop the Left-Congress alliance from posing a serious threat.
The TMC has 46 of the 53 seats that went to polls on Saturday but if the Opposition vote-share is added, then the former's position doesn't look as strong. Hence, the TMC will hope that the BJP continues to do well in seats where it did well in the last general elections, thanks to the Narendra Modi wave. The more the BJP divides the anti-establishment vote, the more the TMC will feel assured.
But can Modi repeat the same performance in Bengal after two years of not-an-extraordinary rule at the Centre?
While a number of BJP leaders are optimistic about repeating the same performance, the Congress-Left alliance thinks something like that will not happen again as an anti-incumbency has started to chase the Modi govement as well. It feels the Modi government doesn't command the same respect of the people, especially the youth, who had voted for his party two years back after feeling being let down by the TMC government in the state.
The alliance also feels the people have now learned about the 'Modi-Didi nexus' which they have been alleging for long. The lack of urgency shown in probing the Saradha and Narada corruption issues prove that voting for the BJP means indirectly backing Mamata Banerjee, say the alliance leaders. They are thus hopeful that the anti-TMC votes will now come to them and the BJP can't make dents into it and save Banerjee from losing.
The BJP and TMC leaders have also tried their best to refute the theory about their undertsanding. Top leaders of both parties have been seen targeting each other in unequivocal terms during the campaigning. All leaders of the BJP---from PM Modi to fresher Locket Chatterjee and Rupa Ganguly---have made it a point to attack the TMC whenever they have found a reason, just to ensure that they can protect their 17 per cent vote-share received in 2014.
Mamata Banerjee will not be complaining if it really does.