Battle of Bengal not a 50-50 contest anymore, heading in the direction of regime change

Battle of Bengal not a 50-50 contest anymore, heading towards regime change

2021-04-11 22:21:49

Kolkata: With the announcement of election dates on February 26, we entered Bengal. We began from Delhi, handed via Varanasi and Bodh Gaya and at last crossed Jharkhand border to succeed in Asansol. Our protection of West Bengal elections began right here. My cameraman and I boarded a bus to Durgapur and we began speaking to individuals concerning the elections. Most individuals on the bus stated that the elections gave the impression to be a 50-50 affair and that something can occur. After this, we traveled on a bus from Hooghly to Howrah. Most individuals both averted the query or gave the impression to be ‘enjoying’ secure when requested to foretell the result by saying it’s a 50-50 contest. Within the preliminary days, there have been only some individuals who spoke of ‘change’. Some even stated that Mamata ‘didi’ will win once more as she has finished loads of work for the poor and ladies.

We reached Kolkata on February 28, the identical day the grand alliance of Congress and CPM performed a rally in Kolkata. The large crowd turnout gave impetus to the existence of the Third Entrance within the Bengal elections. However because the elections progressed, the Third Entrance light away.

After this, I went to Murshidabad, Malda, Dinajpur, and Siliguri. Individuals in all places besides Murshidabad stated that there’s a tight race between BJP and TMC and the competition is 50-50. On 7 March, Prime Minister Modi held his first rally on the Brigade Floor in Kolkata. To be sure that the competition doesn’t go fully in favour of the BJP, Mamata Banerjee held a roadshow in Siliguri on the similar time. On one hand, Prime Minister Modi launched a pointy assault on Mamata Didi and her authorities, whereas on the opposite, Mamata additionally focused the Prime Minister fiercely. Right here as properly, everybody we talked to, was saying that the competition is 50-50 and that it was going to be a troublesome battle.

After this we reached Nandigram. Mamata Banerjee got here right here to file her nomination on March 10. Once more, we requested individuals about their opinion and once more, we received the identical reply – the combat is hard, “bolte parbo na” (can’t say something). After I spoke to some native journalists, they stated that whoever wins will win by a margin of 5 to 10 thousand solely. That’s, right here too, the case was 50 -50. However by the night of election day, it appeared that Suvendu Adhikari was more likely to trump Banerjee right here. On Twitter, I wrote that based mostly on my reporting all day, I can say that Mamata Banerjee dedicated a mistake by contesting from Nandigram. However a few of my colleagues stated that something can occur right here. I consider each have an equal shot at successful.

Within the first two phases, it appeared clear that be it Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram or West and East Midnapore, BJP has taken a very good lead over TMC. Out of the 60 seats in each the phases, BJP and Amit Shah claimed victory on over 50 seats. In a dialog with Zee Information, Residence Minister Amit Shah stated that we’re successful over 200 seats and the BJP president advised Zee Information {that a} tsunami is occurring in favour of BJP in Bengal. Prime Minister Modi even spoke of the BJP authorities’s swearing-in ceremony on the Tarakeswar rally. At this, Mamata Banerjee took a jibe on the Prime Minister saying is he God that he has come to know the outcomes beforehand.

TMC and Mamata Banerjee’s staff have been assured that the ambiance could be utterly reversed by the third part. As a result of about 110 seats of Kolkata Presidency have been to be voted in third, 4th and fifth part. TMC’s individuals did get a little bit breather after the third part of voting. Out of the 31 meeting seats of the third part, TMC claimed to have gained greater than 20 seats. Nevertheless, BJP claimed 50-50 on this part. However based mostly on conversations with journalist mates reporting elsewhere, it seemed like that out of 16 seats of South 24 Parganas within the third part, Trinamool can do a clear sweep. Alternatively, BJP might do a clear sweep in Hooghly, the place voting for 8 seats was held. I used to be staying at Tarakeswar constituency in Hooghly for a day, from the place BJP nominated Swapnadas Gupta, who is among the contenders for the put up of Chief Minister if BJP wins the elections. A complete of seven seats went to polls in Howrah. TMC appeared to have an edge right here, however BJP claimed to win 1 to 2 seats in right here as properly. Total, TMC’s lead was clear within the third part.

Then we set out for the fourth part of polling in Cooch Behar space of ​​North Bengal. On the best way, we got here throughout a coconut water-seller in Nadia district. Whereas consuming coconut water, we requested the seller of his opinion on the elections. He saved quiet for some time, however after noticing the ‘tilak’ on my brow, requested if I’m a Hindu. I stated sure. He then stated one thing that reveals a significant clue concerning the elections throughout the state. He stated, “all Hindus are with Modi and all Muslims with Didi”.

At this level, let me make it clear that I had visited the Kali Ghat temple whereas for leaving Cooch Behar from Kolkata, the place a priest had put ‘tilak on my brow. That’s how the coconut vendor recognised I’m a Hindu and that’s the reason he didn’t hesitate in saying what he stated. The boy hinted on the polarization of Hindu and Muslim voters within the election.

It’s doable that since Nadia, Malda and Murshidabad have Muslim-majority inhabitants, Mamata Banerjee made a name to unite minority voters. After Banerjee’s assertion, PM Modi at a rally stated if he had appealed to the Hindu voters to vote in unison, he would have additionally obtained a discover from Election Fee.

Cooch Behar is about 17 hours from Kolkata, so we determined to cease in Murshidabad on the evening of March 8. The Battle of Bengal i.e. the Battle of Plassey of 1757 befell in Nadia district. It’s stated that Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal misplaced the battle to the British due to Mir Jafar. Mir Jafar was the chief commander of military of Siraj-ud-Daulah. He had joined arms with the British. Due to this Siraj-ud-daula misplaced the battle regardless of having a military of fifty,000 troopers whereas the Britishers have been solely 3000. That’s the reason Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her speeches is asking TMC leaders who joined BJP as Mir Jafar or ‘traitors’.

I used to be interested by visiting the place the place the Battle of Plassey was fought. After I went there and requested individuals about Mir Jafar and his household, they advised us to go and speak to the household instantly. We requested them the place we are able to discover them. They advised us that Mir Jafar’s household lives in Hazarduari space of ​​Murshidabad.

After stopping at Murshidabad at evening, within the morning we went to fulfill the “Aulad of Mir Jafar”. By the best way, the phrase “Aulad of Mir Jafar” is used for a traitor. It’s thought of abusive. However we needed to meet with the Aulad of Mir Jafar to know who he was with immediately.

On reaching the realm, once we requested individuals concerning the location of the household, they didn’t appear happy. However then an individual standing there confirmed us the little Nawab’s home. We entered via the gate of Hazarduari, the home of Syed Raza Mirza, the youthful Nawab of Mir Jafar clan. I advised the 80-year-old Mirza that there’s a lot of debate of your loved ones in Bengal elections and requested who he was supporting. He stated Mamata with none trace of doubt. Now you can guess who the Aulad of Mir Jafar was with. I used to be there to do a narrative on who Mir Jafar was with. My story accomplished proper then.

After this, I left for Cooch Behar to cowl the voting for the fourth part to be held on tenth April. From morning itself, information of bombings and firings began rising from totally different cubicles. The TMC activists launched an assault on safety forces at sales space quantity 126 of Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar. The safety forces retaliated killing 4 individuals. It will not be unsuitable to say that it was the results of the incessant incitement by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. I used to be busy protecting this story all day. That’s the reason I couldn’t get an opportunity to debate with anybody about what was the pattern of the fourth part. Within the morning, I received a name from workplace to cowl the story of the Election Fee ban on Mamata Banerjee’s rally in Cooch Behar.

Whereas getting ready to depart the lodge, I got here throughout some journalist colleagues at a tea store. I requested what the scenario seemed like, who would win now that 4 phases have been accomplished. A seemingly unhappy journalist stated it appears to be like like “there will likely be a change of energy in Bengal”. I requested him why he thought so. He replied that it was Mamata’s indignant demeanor that signifies so. My dialog with this journalist grew to become the premise of this text.

50% of polling is full in Bengal by now and 50% is but to comply with. Right here too, the case appears 50–50 as 4 out of 8 phases have been accomplished and 4 phases are nonetheless remaining. Within the first two phases, BJP took a good lead. TMC carried out properly within the third part. However within the fourth part, by making it a 50-50 contest, the BJP appears to have secured the sting. Aside from Murshidabad, in the remainder of locations resembling Bardhaman, Malda, Dinajpur, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Asansol or Durgapur, the result appears to be both 50-50 or entering into BJP’s favour. TMC can solely win the 8 meeting seats in Kolkata metropolis. In such a scenario, as a substitute of a 50-50 contest, the battle of Bengal appears to be signaling a change in regime. I can say this on the premise of my expertise of reporting on the bottom.

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