Mamata corners Bengal BJP through anti-CAA protests

Mamata corners Bengal BJP through anti-CAA protests

BJP hoped that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) would be its trump card against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s anti-NRC campaign in the state. But it seems that the feisty Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo is turning the tables on BJP over the issue. Contrary to BJP’s hopes of gaining public support for CAA, especially of Hindu refugees, Banerjee is steadily gaining momentum through her protests against the contentious Act.

Banerjee through her massive protest marches against CAA has got a head start which BJP has not been able to counter so far. The rallies taken out by BJP in support of the Act including the one led by the party’s working president J P Nadda have been dwarfed by those led by Banerjee.

She has successfully overcome the initial discomfiture for her government caused by the violent protests against CAA where parts of railway stations and trains were set ablaze. Having resolved the law and order issue she then focused on getting the public opinion in her favour.

Banerjee’s remarks during the protest marches such as daring the Centre to hold a United Nations monitored referendum or to dismiss her government have grabbed public attention in the state. This will most likely further consolidate her minority support base. Her step to put on hold all administrative activities related to the National Population Register (NPR) has lent further credibility to her opposition against the BJP government.

She has been able to capitalise on the large scale confusion and panic among people in north Bengal over NRC and CAA. If TMC’s clean sweep in the recent Assembly by-elections in the state is anything to go by then it will be an uphill task for BJP to repeat its Lok Sabha elections performance in the 2021 Assembly elections. While TMC won all the three seats in the by-elections BJP drew a blank.

The Chief Minister’s repeated assurance that she will not implement CAA and NRC in Bengal has also gone in favour of TMC. Her harping on the fact that more than 10 lakh Bengali Hindus were left out of the NRC in Assam has put the state BJP in a spot.