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Mamata vs CBI tussle might have just settled Mahagathbandhan’s prime ministerial face


New Delhi, Feb 5: The ongoing tussle between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over the latter's approaching Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection to the Saradha chit fund scam has created quite a tricky challenge for Indian democracy.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Logic has been presented on sides' behalf as to who is right or wrong over the drama that unfolded in Kolkata last Sunday in which CBI officials were detained by the city cops after they tried to examine Kumar.

Banerjee said it was "super emergency" and she was being targeted after holding the Mahagahthbandhan rally in Kolkata on January 19. The ruling party at the Centre - BJP - asked who was Banerjee trying to protect by guarding the top cop?

The drama has given Mamata opportunity to play the game she masters

In technical terms, it is difficult to give a verdict in anybody's favour in this crisis. Both sides have spoken in favour of their respective stands on the matter.

Mamata vs CBI: Congress's contradictory takes not helping it ahead of LS polls

But one thing is certain: this episode has given the Trinamool Congress chief an opportunity to play her favourite game - the politics of dharna. Given the firebrand leader in her, Banerjee's rise in politics has been around street-fight politics.

She has not spared any of her opponents when it comes to animated politics on the streets. As an administrator, Banerjee has been nowhere to the Opposition politician in her and by staging a dharna at the same place where she had camped during the days of Nandigram agitation in the mid-2000s, she is back to play the game she masters. For her new opponents - the saffronists - this could be a discomforting outcome.

Has the crisis settled Mamata as Mahagathbandhan's PM face?

The problem with this crisis is that it is marked by stubborn political stand on both sides. And given the fact that Banerjee has always been a stubborn leader, the BJP might find it difficult to carry out its activism in West Bengal post this crisis.

Its organisation and leadership in the state is still no match for the ruling TMC and a direct confrontation with its top leadership could actually settle the anti-Modi platform's dilemma ahead of the next Lok Sabha election - deciding on a consensus prime ministerial candidate.

Banerjee could easily be seen now as the central figure around whom the anti-BJP alliance cements as the pouring in sympathy from leaders of other parties suggests. This could also make her leader with a pan-Indian significance for the election is not far from now.

She played a calculated stroke by conducting the entire protest part in public. If the TMC chief ignites Bengali sub-nationalism ahead of the polls, the BJP could find a serious challenge in expanding its base in the state which it is desperately eyeing to conquer.

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