There could be some cure of ego. But how to deal with a person posturing hyper ego with pride? Nobody can. All one can do is infer that the hyper ego is fueled by something sinister. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s recent antics against the Centre make one think in that direction. What started as a seemingly genuine protest against demonetisation has now become Banerjee’s personal war against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Consider some of her recent ploys against the Centre: On December 1, Banerjee sent shockwaves across West Bengal by claiming the Centre was plotting a coup against her government by stalling Army in Kolkata without permission. She decided not to go home and remain at the state secretariat, Nabanna, to protest against the “sudden deployment” of the army in the area and “guard the democracy”.
Banerjee even asked: “Is this a military coup?”. Later it emerged that the Army was carrying out a routine exercise and the West Bengal administration was already aware of it. Logic doesn’t explain as to how a state government can think that Centre would ever need military to stage a coup. In a federal system like ours, the Centre can do it simply by imposing President rule. On the same day, Mamata had made another bogus claim that Centre had conspired to kill her by not allowing her flight to land on the airport.
Since the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, Mamata tried to create an anti-Modi atmosphere in the country, including Delhi, by organising rallies against Demonetisation. However, the rallies couldn’t find many takers.
From January 1, Mamata has launched a “Modi hatao, Desh Bachao” campaign across West Bengal. The campaign again defies logic as to how can one overthrow the Centre by protesting only in a single state. What Mamata’s campaign has been successful in doing is in increasing the ‘hate-Modi’ sentiments of her party workers and dragged West Bengal to an uninvited season of violence and tensions.
— Tarek तारिक Fatah (@TarekFatah) January 5, 2017
— Tarek तारिक Fatah (@TarekFatah) January 4, 2017
When CBI arrested TMC leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandhopadhyay on Tuesday in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, Mamata not only called it an act of “vendetta” by Centre but also likened the arrest with “real emergency”. “We strongly condemn the political vindictive attitude of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. For no reasons arrests have been made. Only reason is #NoteBandi. We will be with the people. This is not only financial emergency. This is full-fledged emergency,” she said in a series of tweets. Not only this, she even threatened the Centre by saying — “We too have a government.”
— AITC (@AITCofficial) January 5, 2017
“Mamata Banerjee’s reaction to the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay by the CBI is unbecoming of a chief minister, particularly one who has been attempting to build herself up as a national leader,” The Indian Express remarked in an editorial today.
Mamata’s threat to the Centre was not just a veiled one. It reflected when West Bengal government on Wednesday cancelled an event at the Calcutta club in which author and political commentator Tarek Fatah was scheduled to speak on Balochistan and its ‘freedom’ from Pakistan. Fatah is considered to be a BJP and Modi supporter. But cancelling an intellectual programme just because a speaker is sympathetic to the opponent is again beyond common sense. Does Banerjee think West Bengal is not in India?
Following the arrest of TMC MPs in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, there have been several attacks on BJP workers, including on the house of BJP MP Babul Suprio. Today reports said that posters of PM Modi were targetted in some parts of the state. It is highly unlikely that BJP cadres would take the attacks lying down.
On November 28, Banerjee pledged to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Indian politics while taking part in a protest march against demonetisation in Kolkata. “Today, I am taking the pledge that either I’ll die or live but will remove PM Modi from Indian politics,” Banerjee told her supporters.
The statement surprised many. For Banerjee cannot remove Modi on her own, and certainly not with her current antics that include blocking or opposing everything the Centre does, including the implementation of GST. With such speech, however, she does manage to keep her supporters enraged and violent.
Violence among the Left and TMC cadres were routine in West Bengal before Banerjee came to power. With her latest threatening posturing against the Centre and BJP in the state, Banerjee has sowed the seeds of another prolonged battle minus the Left. But who would be the real victim?