TMC buoyed with dual endorsement, Mithunda chants “Har Ghar Didi”

Mithunda chants “Har Ghar Didi”
TMC buoyed with dual endorsement
TMC buoyed with dual endorsement
TMC buoyed with dual endorsement

This is a season of endorsements. Everyone with the slightest political clout is throwing their weight one way or another. With opinion polls showing TMC not doing as well as expected, didi’s campaign got much needed nitro boost from dual endorsement yesterday.

Shahi Shabashi

Head of Jama Masjid in Delhi, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari urged Muslims to vote en masse for Trinamool Congress in the next election. One may recall, Sonia Gandhi met Shahi Imam to ensure what she called the secular vote doesn’t get divided. Accordingly, Imam has endorsed Congress nationally but specifically for Bengal, his support goes to Didi’s brigade. Bukhari believes that Mamata will never align with N.D.A again notwithstanding her chequered past. Apparently Bukhari sent a team to Bengal which submitted a report. Also Mamata Banerjee wrote him a letter highlighting the works done by the state government to improve the condition of Muslims in Bengal. Bukhari said that communalism is the biggest threat plaguing the nation right now and Mamata can be effective in maintaining the secular fabric of the country. The Left and congress in the state though believes Bukhari is a spent force with very little actual relevance.

Edge in hills

In Darjeeling, GNLF chief Subhash Ghisingh has decided to support TMC candidate and football icon Baichung Bhutiya. Ghisingh was the original strongman of hills who first brought the demand of Gorkhaland to the forefront. He later got side-lined by his protégé Bimal Gurung who formed a new political party, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Now, Ghisingh old and frail is fighting for political existence. But his thumbs up to the TMC candidate may well be the fillip Baichung needs in this very tough campaign. When he first decided to fight the election, Baichung was almost certain that Morcha will support him. But in the game of one-upmanship between Mamata and GJM, he became a casualty. On the pretext of Baichung being an outsider, GJM decided to put their weight behind BJP. Now with Ghisingh supporting, ex Indian captain gets more than a fighting chance to win this seat.

Possible pitfall of Imam’s urge

There is an increasingly belief that BJP is poised to get its best vote share in the state. In 1991, on the height of Ramjanmabhoomi movement party got 12 % votes. It is projected to get around 14% votes if opinion polls are to be believed. BJP polled around 6% votes last time. This excess vote is almost exclusively going to come from people opposed to Left who otherwise would have voted for TMC. A section of the party believes with likes of Shahi Imam and Imam of Tipu mosque endorsing Mamata, there can be actual polarisation of votes. Bengal has never voted in religious lines but with a massive Modi wave projected, that possibility can’t be ruled out. Already there is resentment among section of voters regarding decision to give Imams special wages, separate engineering test for minorities etc. TMC workers in the grassroots feel, BJP may use these issues particularly in communally sensitive border areas.

“Har Ghar Didi”
Move over “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’, actor turned politician Mithun Chakrabarty, fondly called Mithunda, has given a new twist to this slogan. He has chanted “Har Ghar didi, Har Bar didi”. Speaking in Asansol, an industrial bastion where BJP’s Babul Supriyo is giving a good fight, he urged voters not to split votes. Mithunda gave the logic that more seats TMC have, more it can leverage demands from Dilli Sarkar (Delhi government). Mamata too urged voters not to give a single vote to rioters who divide people on basis of religion. It is a fine line between courting minorities without facing the ire of majorities. At present, TMC is doing the balancing act pretty decently.

Related Information

India Elections 2014

General Elections 2014

Election Results

West Bengal General Election

West Bengal General Election Results