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Monday, April 15, 2024, 5:36 am

Monday, April 15, 2024, 5:36 am

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Simmering Sandeshkhali: Mamata Banerjee could face significant challenges.

Simmering Sandeshkhali
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In the lead-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Mamata Banerjee could face significant challenges from Sandeshkhali. The 35-year-long CPI-M administration in Bengal is reminiscent of the horror that Trinamool Congress strongman Shahjahan Sheikh and his allies have inflicted. Mamata Banerjee’s declared slogan of Maa, Maati, Manush is contradicted by the fact that Sheikh, a former member of the CPI-M, ruled his own personal kingdom in the region.
Accompanied by obedient local police and a campaign of threats and intimidation, he allegedly commandeered acres of arable land. When local young women flocked to the streets to protest the crimes against them and the police’s silence over their complaints, the accusations that they were being sexually exploited came to light. Sheikh has shown the murky side of Bengali politics. He has been on the run since his thugs ambushed an Enforcement Directorate team on January 5 who had come to look into his role in a PDS fraud. The exploitative system that has succeeded the years of CPI-M “misrule” is identical, with local TMC satraps running their own little kingdoms and terrorising the populace while Nabanna, the seat of power in Kolkata, looks the other way.

Given that Bengal is essential to the party’s declared goal of 370 or more seats and that the Lok Sabha elections are only a few weeks away, the BJP’s intense focus on the Sandeshkhali problem is not surprising. The party attempted to give the allegations of sexual exploitation a communal flavour, even though the alleged offenders were Muslims and Hindus, as part of their tried-and-true divisive strategy. Without a doubt, this matter will continue to boil until the elections are held. The BJP leaders’ hurried visit to Sandeshkhali is evidence of this tactic. In his public remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to bring up Sandeshkhali during his next visit to Bengal at the beginning of March. To oppose the Union government’s claimed prejudice in funding distribution, TMC has organised a sizable gathering at Brigade Parade Ground on March 10 in an attempt to not be outdone. The Trinamool electoral campaign will officially begin with this virtual launch. Even if it is a little late, the CM’s decision to deploy ministers to the region to comfort the populace is a positive one. By enforcing harsh action against all dissident party members, the Trinamool leadership must mitigate significant harm. Politicians on both sides of the aisle should learn from Sandeshkhali not to use the suffering of others for their own advantage.

Abhishek Verma


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