April 20, 2021

What Mamata Banerjee’s Allegation of Assault in Nandigram Might Imply For Bengal Elections

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that she suffered accidents after an assault by “four-five males” in Nandigram have added gas to the politically charged ambiance within the japanese state. Whether or not it was an assault or an accident, as claimed by a few of her rivals, is one thing investigators will determine. However what do the incident imply for the upcoming meeting elections? Will the episode — and Banerjee’s broadly circulated {photograph} from a hospital mattress — change into a defining second in what has to date been a fierce contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP)?

Information18.com speaks to political commentator Shutapa Paul, the creator of The Untold Mamata Banerjee, and journalist Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, the creator of Mission Bengal: A Saffron Experiment, individually to study what they assume.


There’s little doubt that the incident will earn Banerjee some sympathy. Whereas Paul says the “evocative” incident is more likely to have an effect on the folks of Bengal, who generally are “emotional”, Bhattacharya is just not positive whether or not this can translate to electoral features. However one factor is for positive: an incident of such a magnitude is just not going to fizzle out quickly (the matter has reached the election fee and statewide protests have erupted).

PAUL: “There may be a variety of join between Mamata Banerjee and the grass-roots…An incident like this — the chief minister has referred to as the assault ‘deliberate’ — is clearly a critical matter…Investigators ought to discover out why there was no satisfactory safety when the chief minister was out on election marketing campaign…The entry to the chief minister mustn’t have been straightforward…”

BHATTACHARYA: “…As of now, it appears individuals are fairly extremely polarised, and most of them have already determined who to vote for. Suvendu Adhikari’s supporters are saying that she has insulted Nandigram by alleging a conspiracy on its soil. Nonetheless, the episode remains to be unfolding and the course of occasions can’t be predicted.”


There’s a view that the incident, in addition to Banerjee’s resolution to contest Nandigram in opposition to her protégé-turned-rival Adhikari of the BJP, have put the main focus again on two traits lengthy related to the chief minister: that she is a avenue fighter and that she is just not afraid of taking challenges head-on. The Nandigram incident on Wednesday reminded a few of August 16, 1990, when Banerjee ended up with a fractured cranium after a Communist Social gathering of India (Marxist) employee hit her with a stick. Paul says Banerjee’s resolution to combat from Nandigram (Adhikari gained the seat in 2016) can also be a symbolic and shock transfer, one which sends throughout the message that no political problem is large enough in entrance of Didi, as she is popularly often called.

PAUL: “The ‘avenue fighter’ picture is one thing Mamata Banerjee cherishes…It isn’t one thing she desires to let go of…Crucial side of her is her join with the folks. That is what election strategist Prashant Kishor is counting on whereas formulating TMC methods. She has at all times been a really emotional and passionate chief. The incidents of bodily hurt in her political profession has been frequent. She has been hit on the pinnacle…essentially the most notorious assault was the one which cracked open her head (in 1990), however there are at the very least two extra incidents the place she was hit on her head and different components of the physique. She’s been braving all of it.”

BHATTACHARYA: “Mamata has by no means misplaced her avenue fighter picture; so there isn’t a query of reinforcing it. However it could actually safely be stated that TMC supporters might be slightly extra pumped up (after the Nandigram episode)…This (the road fighter tag) has been one in all her USPs (distinctive promoting factors). Even her resolution to contest  Nandigram has been seen in the identical gentle, and her resolution to take Suvendu head-on on his dwelling turf has helped increase the boldness of TMC supporters.”


Whereas the BJP has referred to as for an investigation into the matter to search out out whether or not it’s a “drama”, some have recommended the incident was nothing however an accident brought on by the door of Banerjee’s automotive. The Congress, too, has termed it a “nautanki” to realize public sympathy. The Left, its electoral accomplice within the state, has taken an analogous stand. Whereas Paul thinks the language used within the discourse was not applicable, Bhattacharya says it reveals considerations over the political fallout of the incident, particularly within the Congress-Left bloc.

PAUL: “When a frontrunner of such nationwide reputation is injured, we don’t anticipate the Opposition, be it the Congress utilizing the phrase ‘nautanki’ or the BJP calling it a tactic to realize sympathy…The political discourse in our nation has taken a nosedive…she needed to reduce brief her marketing campaign and was rushed to a hospital in Kolkata; some political courtesy ought to have been adopted.”

BHATTACHARYA: “The Congress and the CPI(M) have each alleged that Mamata enacted a drama, virtually instantly after the information broke. This reveals their nervousness about Mamata scoring some further factors by gaining sympathy.”


Assault or accident? Regardless of which facet of the controversy one is on, the incident is unquestionably a brand new low for Bengal; triggering waves within the muddy waters of its politics that’s marked by violent episodes. With the confrontation that has ensued, it’s sure that there isn’t a speedy finish to the controversy in sight. Within the March warmth, the political mercury will proceed to soar forward of the eight-phase elections within the state.