West Bengal supremo, Mamata Banerjee should thank Modi for Demonetization. Although, she appears to be steely and oppose Demonetization, she should be secretively thanking PM Modi, for, this gave her a massive political opportunity to become even more relevant in national scene. Demonetization is akin to a deer which Modi hunted and all the cubs, Mamata Banerjee, Congress and to some extent Kejriwal, seem to pounce on to get their own share of flesh. None of these cubs have pan Indian charisma which their common enemy Modi has. The issue looks to have catapulted all the insignificant others to national scene. Every one of these pretends to be a messiah, whereas in reality, all of them are making a clandestine effort in cementing their way to Lok Kalyan Marg. It appears a secret coalition with a common anti-Modi agenda has already been formed. It’s just a question of who would be head of this coalition.
However, history teaches us valuable lessons, like in the case of a futile Janta Pariwar, which fell apart mostly due to ego issues. Though the self-proclaimed contenders seem to have good will and blessing of the people, in their respective states, for all we know, that could be short-lived. This is the reason why, a unilateral agenda should be ‘Blame Modi’, which would successfully work. The more repugnant you are, the better the results. The more erratic you are (more so in case of Rahul Gandhi), regardless of malapropism, more the attention from the national media. If everything fails, ‘Bhai Bhai’ logic always works, wherein, all opponents gang up and form a Mahgathbandhan, with a common goal to attack Modi and BJP. This approach has worked in Bihar, and could possibly yield fruitful results in forthcoming elections across all major states.
In this race to fulfill Prime Ministerial ambitions, Mamata seems to be the front runner. By aggressively taking on Modi, she seems to be setting up right expectations (although Hindi could be a barrier for her, for which she reportedly has been taking language lessons).The ultimate weapon in this direction is playing the ‘victim card’ which is analogous to a hand dealt pocket Aces in the game of poker, non-corrosive, forever strong. Mamata started off with her tirade of verbal attacks on Modi when IT raids were conducted on Mr. Rao, the state Chief Secretary for Tamil Nadu. The Income Tax Department comes under the purview of Ministry of Finance and should be allowed to function, especially in cases where there has been enough witness to justify the raids. The cases of IndiGo Airlines flight, deploying army at toll plaza and deployment of CRPF personnel are her other politically calculated moves. Again, the Union and the states are all part of the federal structure. CRPF personnel have been assisting Income Tax Directorate only upon the mention by officers that the Bengal state department has not been providing enough security. By constantly blaming the center, Mamata seems to tacitly avoid any future attacks on her. This offensive defense is not good for democracy. Mamata herself involved in several scams could be the reason why she got cold feet.
Her latest move appears to be a mix of hooliganism (attack on BJP office by TMC workers) and victimization (blaming center for political vendetta) wherein she called the CBI arrest of Trinamul leader Sudip Bandopadhyay, in connection with Rs. 17000 crore Rose Valley Scam, as vindictive. These attacks by Mamata Banerjee should not be misconstrued as a mere warning, but looked at, as a clever political move targeted at Modi. With her perpetual ultimata, Mamata is setting up a precedence and shielding her fiefdom from any impending raids, even if they are genuine. She seems to aim at the coveted post of becoming Modi’s most desirable enemy. For now, Mamata appears to be the newfound deus ex machina for the rudderless opposition.
If anyone needs to thank Modi for demonetization, it should be opposition more than the citizens. One can expect many more benefits to be reaped in by the opposition from this golden duck of ‘demonetization’. Way to go Mamata!