One of the hotbeds of Indian politics, West Bengal is currently witnessing a one-of-a-kind political power battle between BJP and TMC. Neck-deep into the second phase of assembly elections on Thursday, the power play has brought the Centre and State government at warring ends and the fight doesn’t seem to halt anytime soon.
More than the accusations, personal attacks and infightings between the two parties, the West Bengal assembly elections have raised questions over the Centre-State relations and the interpretation of federalism in contemporary India. As the Saffron wave causes a political tsunami across the country, Mamata Banerjee has stood her ground by calling on the people of Bengal to either vote for her or become a part of Modi’s Bharat.
The BJP, on the other hand, riding on the promise of Sonar Bangla, has asserted that if people want vikas (development), especially quick Vikas, they should vote for BJP. While TMC is grappling with the Modi paranoia, BJP is adamant on having PM and CM belong to one single party.
Expressing this fear of the creation of ‘Modi’s Bharat’, Mamata Banerjee, in a letter to the leaders of 14 opposition parties, on Wednesday wrote that the BJP wants to establish a one party authoritarian rule in India, thereby reducing state governments to mere municipalities. Urging them to come together to counter BJP, she further expressed concern on democracy and constitutional federalism and pressed on the need for a unified and effective struggle.
Addressing a rally in Assam’s Kokrajhar, PM Modi on Thursday launched a staunch attack against Congress and said the contest is between the BJP’s double engine of development and Congress’s Mahajhooth. Emphasising that the NDA has been working for the welfare of the people with the mantra of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas’, he claimed that Assam has given its blessings to NDA in the first phase of polling and put a stamp on the grand victory of NDA.
Whether BJP manages to capture power in Assam or not, would only be determined when the votes are counted on May 2.