BJP upbeat but Mamata still reads heartbeat of Nandigram

BJP bigwings holds roadshows and rallies but TMC supremo conducts block-level public meetings in Nandigram, the epicenter of Bengal elections

Nandigram: “I do work for other party people and make courtesy calls to them, but if they make such talks go viral, then they are doing a criminal offence and cheating people,” Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said during her last speech at Nandigram, hours ahead of the electoral campaigning coming to an end for Bengal Elections’s second phase.

She was reacting to an audio clip that went viral recently. She can be heard seeking help from a former TMC cadre, who had joined BJP only to leave it later. BJP leaders presented the audio before the media, declaring that the TMC supremo was losing her election and hence was desperately seeking help all quarters to win from Nandigram.

Meanwhile, as expected, BJP put in all its might during the last day of the campaigning in Nandigram deteremined to make TMC chief Mamata Banerjee taste defeat. 

Both Home Minister Amit Shah and film actor Mithun Chakraborty conducted roadshows in Nandigram in support of party candidate Suvendu Adhikari. 

While a good number of people were present at Amit Shah roadshow, from TMC Supremo to party cadres all claimed that it was primarily ‘outsiders and central forces’ who comprised the people in the roadshow.

In almost an hour-long speech, the last one of her campaign at Nandigram as well as second phase voting in Bengal, Banerjee, not only replied to the recent viral audio clip made viral by BJP but also to Amit Shah’s claim of BJP will win 26 out of 30 seats in the first phase.

“Amit Babu says, BJP will win 26 seats out of 30, you will get big a rosogulla,” she mocked Amit Shah’s claimed and added, “Does he know, whom the people have voted for?”

Banerjee, whose political career took a major turn after Nandigram peasants’ movement which she had led, tried to connect with locals with her storytelling abilities. 

“Today, I will tell you three stories of my calls getting recorded that were later made viral. First, it was my meeting with CPIM leader Sujan Chakraborty. He had met me with 10 MLAs for some work, but later it was propagated as I was aligning with them,” recalled the TMC chief, adding another incident of Left student wing leaders seeking her help but made her video viral. 

Banerjee also took a dig at TMC turncoats who didn’t get nominated despite the switch, and especially mentioned few names, “Mukul, did not get a ticket from the place, which has been his stronghold,” she pointed out.

Interestingly, Mamata in her long speech not mentioned much the name of her former aide, contesting against her Suvendu Adhikari. The only time she used, it was to praise Mukul Roy. 

“As far as being a good human is concerned, Mukul is a better person than Adhikari,” however, she quickly added, “But all these ‘traitors’ will never be taken back into the party.” 

The speech which was entirely in Bangla, saw the Bengal CM spoke politely and narrate political anecdotes as stories, unlike her image of a firebrand orator. And her body language was like a compassionate leader. When Banerjee got snacks to eat at the stage, she asked her cadres to distribute tea and snacks to the media persons as well, which were followed. Later when she used even offered a packet of wipes to the newsmen. 

The TMC chief who is facing one of the most important election in her political career, finished her speech by singing of the Indian National Anthem during  which, Banerjee, who had been injured during an alleged attack, stood up on a single limb along with others present during the meet.

Significantly, Left alliance’s Meenakshi Mukherjee despite her aggressive campaign seemed to be trailing as whoever eNewsroom met to know whom they were going to vote, most mentioned TMC or BJP in the high-pitched battle, thereby making the polls a bipolar contest, instead of a tri-corner fight.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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