Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 14
The leaders of the Left parties have been closely watching the face-off between the Centre and the TMC-ruled West Bengal following an attack on BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.
The trigger of the latest confrontation between the Centre and the West Bengal government was the security lapse while Nadda, also a Rajya Sabha MP, was en route to Diamond Harbour, which is represented by Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
A large crowd attacked the moving convoy with brick-bats and lathis and hurled empty glass bottles at the vehicles in the presence of state police personnel.
The Centre has taken a strong view regarding the attack on Nadda’s convoy and on BJP leaders accompanying him, especially with the state government’s defiance to its concerns in the matter.
“The steps being taken by the Centre raise apprehension about its move towards the state government,” a top Left leader said.
The apprehension in some Left quarters is that the Centre could, among other steps, impose President’s Rule or advance the Assembly elections in the state.
The Centre has asked the state to release for central deputation three officers who were drafted for Nadda’s security, a move opposed by the Banerjee regime.
The Left parties see the tussle between the BJP and the TMC as a development which will further polarise the political space between the two.
This will make it yet more difficult for them in the context of the Assembly elections, due in Apr-May next year.
Another Left leader said that the delay on the Congress’ part to give practical shape to its intent of allying with the Left front for the Assembly election has not helped the matter.
On the other hand, the TMC and the BJP have started their campaign in the right earnest.
“Political discussions in West Bengal during the past few days are centred only around the TMC and the BJP,” a Left leader hailing from the state observed.
The BJP, which emerged as principal challanger to the TMC after bagging 18 of fhe 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2019 General Election, has added aggression to its campaign.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be visiting the state. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who had recently gone there, is expected to be there again next week.