Two Contrasting scenes from two parts of the country were something to watch out for on Thursday. At the national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath for the second time and looked to be on cloud nine, particularly the swagger he carried with himself while taking oath. While in the eastern metropolis, the Modi’s supporters kept Mamata Banerjee on tenterhooks through “Jai Shri Ram” slogans in Bhatpara and Naihati on her visit.
The slogans enraged the Chief Minister so much so that she stepped down from the car and started chasing them. “Book them,” Ms Banerjee ordered the police who were otherwise silent spectators as they were clueless and looking at each other on what charge the sloganeers could be booked.
In Delhi’s glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister along with all heavyweight leaders including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari et al. The most striking was the approach that Prime Minister took while walking upto the dais for the oath. His thorough footsteps signalled the resolute Modi has while forming NDA 2.0 government.
It was January 19, when as many as 22 leaders from different parts of the country united at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground to launch the last united battle to throw out the Narendra Modi-led NDA government which was seeking re-election after a controversial first term. The who’s who of Indian politics were at the dais and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee leading a federal front looked a bright possibility.
May 23 mandate
Though May 23 results poured water on the opposition’s plan and gave BJP and the NDA an overwhelming mandate to govern the country for the second time in succession — NDA 2.0.
If perceptions are anything to be pondered on, Modi had the last laugh on Thursday triggering some sleepless nights for the West Bengal Chief Minister. Ms Banerjee is trying to save the state government after BJP managed to post victory in 18 seats to go almost neck-to-neck with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) who won just 22 seats.
Coming to the gestures of the individuals in question, Modi showed restraint and calm in his gestures while Ms Banerjee was unsure of her acts at a time when things are falling apart like a pack of cards with everyday exodus. The rate at which TMC leaders and supporters are switching allegiance, it would be hard for Ms Banerjee to keep her flock intact till 2021, when the Assembly Elections are due in West Bengal.
Attempt to overshadow?
Ms Banerjee’s decision to skip NDA 2.0 oath ceremony is seen as an attempt to turn the attention from the all-important ceremony away. But in doing so, the incidents in Bhatpara and Naihati only showed her hara-kiri which may be crucial for the Assembly Elections.
In her verbal spat with the sloganeers, Ms Banerjee let out some remarks which can only make more damage to her and party’s survival in the state. “This is not Gujarat, Bengal will never be Gujarat,” are the statements that may come back to haunt her in future. A tinge of provincialism in her statement, would only make her vote bank weaker in due course. Accusing the sloganeers as criminals and outsiders, Ms Banerjee made more harm than good for her party.
However, Modi just did the opposite in a well thought out plan to garner support in West Bengal. By inviting the families of BJP workers, who died fighting for the party, the saffron brigade showed that they care for their party workers and don’t forget them in good days. This may click in West Bengal considering the kind of anti-TMC wave currently flows.
Two from Bengal
However, in a slow and steady manner, two of the BJP leaders Babul Supriyo and Deboshree Chowdhury found their ways into the cabinet, while chances are also bright that there would be few more from West Bengal in the Ministry as and when it is expanded.
At the end of the day, Modi was left chanting “Jai Shri Ram” which he ought to be, while Ms Banerjee’s outburst on the slogan only exhibits her frustration. However, the major takeaway from the two contrasting environments is that the country’s democracy hinges on lord Ram — whether in favour or against is what matters most.