Quitting UPA: Mamata’s gain, Bengal’s pain
By Shutapa Paul / ENS - KOLKATA
23rd September 2012 09:37 AM
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee showed the moves of an astute politician as she pulled the plug on UPA-II last week. For Didi, this political divorce was an important move ahead of the Panchayat polls in West Bengal.
The grassroots polls are meant to be the final feather in the Mamata’s hat of victories. In such a crucial juncture, she could not risk to appear ‘anti-people’. In the state itself the TMC seems to be still riding high on the wave of victory and would need no help from the Congress to ensure political wins in Panchayat polls or the next Lok Sabha elections.
She also launched vitriolic attacks on the Congress leadership to justify her estrangement from a party that was against the ‘Ma, Mati, Manush’ ethos of the TMC.
In the past 16 months as the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata has assumed the role of the nouveau Left. The comrades themselves, having become marginalised in both the national and state political scene, have watched grudgingly as the firebrand leader usurped the Left’s pet issues one by one, hoping to eat into its vote share.
The political chatterati may criticise Mamata, but West Bengal’s masses, having known the Left regime for 34 years, have comfortably settled into Didi’s ‘Left ideology’. While severing ties with the UPA may translate into political gains for Mamata, it hardly augurs well for the economic fortunes of the state. West Bengal can very well bid adieu to the bailout package from the Centre, which was to help it tide over the debt burden left behind by the previous regime.
. In all her public rallies, Mamata had emphatically declared that the state was to get 16 railway factories; needless to say, their future now remains uncertain.
The DEMU coach manufacturing factory in Haldia, the 1,420 MW power plant with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Adra, the diesel locomotive factory at Dankuni and the railway wagon and components factory with the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Burn Standard Company Ltd (BSCL) at Jellingham, near Nandigram, are among those that are shrouded in improbability.
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