As Mamata Banerjee has always kept herself stiched on to her trademark ‘me-against-the-world’ image where she is the lone fighter against all evils, his reaction towards Narendra Modi’s BJP is in no way different from that for her ex-ally Congress. In previous rallies, she has hailed Modi and Congress as the two sides of the same coin strongly rejecting all speculations by clearly mentioning that Trinamool Congress would never support Modi’s government at the centre.
Knowing that his Prime Ministerial dreams without alliances is far fetched, Modi has quite cleverly pursued her support repeatedly hailing her opposition of the UPA as a creditable move. But while Modi keeps on hoping about Mamata’s support, the West Bengal CM is not likely to change her mind any soon so that the Gujarat CM may be benefitted in any way.
An opinion poll conducted by CSDS for the Lokniti-IBN poll tracker has suggested that a greater percentage of people approve of the present Trinamool Congress government in power compared to that of the previous year. And of the people giving a thumbs up to the Mamata Banerjee government, more than half of them are Muslims. Thus there is enough reason to have the implication that a Modi-Mamata alliance will not be achieved easily as the latter will never want his home ground to get vulnerable. The nature of Bengal’s political ideologies being known, it is very unlikely that the state will poll by having a greater perspective in mind and thus help pool votes for the BJP.
Not only this, what is more significant is that as many as 50 percent of voters had no opinion about who would be a good Prime Minister of India. This staggering trend of ‘not sure’ votes points are an important characteristic of Bengal’s voting culture with much of them having the feel that the politics at the Centre is not going to affect the state much as both the prime parties of the state, CPIM and TMC are basically regional ones.
Thus, she was voted into power despite her several show offs and inconsistent behaviour as a Union Minister. Mamata’s moves of hyperactivity appealed to the common as the ideal choice to eradicate the sloth shrouding the state following the Left’s 34-year-rule. Moreover, Mamata was successful in portraying herself as a leader having the welfare of West Bengal as the primary objective, even at the cost of her political future at the Centre, thus giving them a feel that she is not going to compromise on anything that has to do with Bengal.
While the fifty percent voters unsure about the their PM choice will not help Mamata in becoming the PM, Modi will not also be helped by them to inch closer to his target. But it can be expected from the political discourse of Bengal’s history, the same voters not bothering about the country’s PM candidate, will possibly vote for TMC having the belief Mamata should be given enough power to bargain with the country’s wider politics.
Another statistic shows that both Modi and Congress will have to pursue Banerjee enthusiastically if they are to gain the voter support of Bengal. It is clear that Bengal having no distinctive vision or opinion about the effectiveness of an alliance with either of the national parties, they would rather place their faith and their votes on TMC, entrusting Banerjee to take a decision most favourable for the state.
This is surely no good news for Modi for more a couple of reasons as has been described earlier. The CPI(M) in Bengal has been calling Modi as ‘Hitler’ and’mass murderer’ from times ago. Now if Mamata openly declaring that she will not support Modi ever will be in a fix if she announces an alliance with Modi as the CPM might then drum up fierce criticism against her to reclaim its voter base.