Mamata Banerjee, Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress
West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee flatly denied that her party had anything to do with the incidents in Islampur and Chopra in Uttar Dinajpur | File photo

After Tamil Nadu, posters supporting Mamata appear in Kerala

Her desire to gain acceptance as the next Prime Ministerial candidate has taken Mamata Banerjee to Kerala, a Left bastion.

The West Bengal Chief Minister’s posters have come up in Kerala with a message: “Call Didi Save India, Delhi Chalo”. Old-timers recollect similar posters being put up to drum up support for Indira Gandhi in the 1970s.

Interestingly, Didi has not been in very friendly terms with the Communists, having gained power by ousting a 34-year-old Left rule in West Bengal. However, no adverse reaction to Mamata’s overtures in the southern state has so far come from the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government.

It remains to be seen what gain Trinamool Congress can expect in Kerala where the party has no organisational base. In fact, it has not presence in any of the southern states. At best it is seen as an attempt to establish herself as an all-India leader with an eye on next Lok Sabha elections.

In July, similar posters were put up in Tamil Nadu, Assam and Gujarat (in local languages) to advertise Mamata Banerjee’s July 21 speech to mark martyr’s day (a West Bengal event). In Tamil Nadu, graffiti and posters called Mamata as ‘Amma’, a sobriquet attached to late AIADMK leader Jayalalitha, instead of ‘Didi’.

Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy told News18 that the Trinamool Congress aims to become a national party and said that Mamata Banerjee has nationwide acceptance “as the saviour of the common man and the democratic institutions”.

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Roy further said that rising inflation, unemployment, COVID mismanagement and privatisation of public sector units shows the NDA government at the Centre appeals to crony capitalists and not to the common people on streets and young generation of India. He said the government is constantly attacking the fundamental rights guaranteed to every citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The BJP made light of Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to enter South India, saying the Trinamool supremo’s dream of becoming Prime Minister will never come true.

The Communists, on the other hand, have been patient despite Didi’s attempts to make her presence felt in Kerala. Trinamool and Communists have a long history of rivalry in West Bengal where Mamata defeated CPI and its allies to end a 34-year-old rule of the Left. It is now a general belief among Politburo members that to stop Modi-Shah combine from winning the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the party has to align with like-minded parties, even if that means shaking hands with Didi.

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