press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
As the year draws to a close and with the Trinamool Congress set to celebrate its 17th birthday on January 1, nothing can be more delightful for the ruling party in Bengal than the revival of the land debate.
The approval by the Union Cabinet of the amendments in the 2013 Land Act, is a shot in the arm for the Trinamool, which has been under severe pressure since the BJP-led government came to power.
Nearly the entire Cabinet led by Mamata Banerjee is under the scanner for corruption in Bengal.
Significantly, the pressure kept growing on Trinamool in a year that witnessed the best ever electoral performance by the AITC, with or without allies.
Trinamool had won 81 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats in 2014, which is nearly 20 per cent more than what it got in the 2011 Assembly elections, when it dislodged the Left Front government.
But even before the celebrations stopped, one of the MP’s and a minister was arrested. It is evident that many members of the ruling party have accepted cash from the scam-tainted Saradha Group, leaving footprints, thus making the job of the investigating agencies easier. Ms Banerjee realised by the middle of the year that she is heading for a nightmare and started looking unusually frail and subdued for the first time in decades.
While in the last three years Ms Banerjee snubbed government officers, identified critics as insurgents, declared every routine law and order issue as a “political conspiracy” — these were but trivial blunders which could be ignored. However, she committed a major blunder when she completely aligned herself with the minorities over the last three years thus letting the majority vote consolidate. While such Muslim-Hindu polarization partly helped Ms Banerjee in the Lok Sabha election, it cost the Trinamool a seat in Assembly by-election.
In Basirhat South by-election, the BJP had won a seat independently for the first time largely because of polarization on religious lines. Ms Banerjee immediately stopped saying “Insha’Allah (God Willing) in every sentence.
Soon after, the Bardhaman blast took place in October. It was perhaps the second last nail on the coffin of the beleaguered party as the media — largely against Ms Banerjee — and the Opposition started connecting the blast with Ms Banerjee’s alignment with the Muslims.
Meanwhile, discomfort for the TMC grew, as it leaders were summoned and arrested by Central agencies in the Saradha scam. By the time Transport Minister Madan Mitra was arrested about three weeks ago, the party was gasping for a “political handle” – as described by an observer – which was no where in the sight.
The much needed “handle” was provided last Monday by the BJP, which nearly strangled Ms Banerjee and her party, before the BJP could drive the last nail.
The Ordinance amending 2013 Land Act provides a fresh lease of life to Bengal’s ruling party as Ms Banerjee roared from Paschim (West) Medinipur: “I will not allow any Ordinance to be implemented in Bengal.
A senior leader of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) told The Hindu, that the Ordinance may “help” the TMC, albeit “for a while.
From : The Hindu