Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which holds power in West Bengal, launched its 2021 state election slogan – Bangla nijer meyekei chaye (Bengal wants its own daughter) – on Saturday as it sought to portray the chief minister as the daughter of the state.
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) February 20, 2021
The slogan, with Chief Minister Banerjee’s photo was put up on hoardings across Kolkata as the state’s ruling party officially launched it from its headquarters off EM Bypass. The TMC’s Twitter handle too updated the photo as its new profile picture.
“The people of the state want their own daughter who has been by their side for the last several years as their chief minister. We don’t want outsiders to call the shots in Bengal,” said TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.
Mamata’s nephew and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee said only one name echoes across Bengal and that is of the Trinamool chief.
The message is loud & clear – from North to South, East to West – only one name echoes across Bengal: @MamataOfficial!
— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) February 20, 2021
“The message is loud & clear – from North to South, East to West – only one name echoes across Bengal: @MamataOfficial ! The one who fights tooth & nail for her people, uplifts all & stands up for the voiceless, the only one who will take Bengal forward,” he tweeted.
The TMC is engaged in a bitter political fight with the BJP, pitching the opposition party’s leaders as outsiders who are on “election tourism” to the state. The election to the 294-member Bengal assembly is due in two more months.
The BJP, which has emerged as a stronger force than the Left-Congress combine following its 18 seat victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is fighting the election on development plank, promising ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal) if they are elected to power.
Ahead of the election, run up of which has already seen massive shifting of allegiances, the ECI has decided to deploy 125 companies of central forces during the campaigning period. Each company has about 80-100 personnel and is led by an assistant commandant.
This will include 60 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 30 of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), 25 of the Border Security Force (BSF) and five each of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), he said.
The central forces will begin arriving this week and their early despatch has surprised the state administration. The deployment of forces this time comes ahead of announcement of the election schedule, which was not the case in 2019 and 2016. In 2016, 30 companies of central forces were deployed and 40 sent in 2019, after the dates were declared.
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Such huge deployments have not been sent to other election-bound states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, and Assam, indicating that the election commission is not satisfied with the law and order situation in the state.
The deployments this year are marked for all districts in Bengal, which means EC perceives all districts as sensitive. The CAPFs, or Central Armed Police Forces, are generally deployed for area domination and to instil confidence among people in sensitive regions.
The run-up to the election in Bengal has already seen a blamegame between TMC and BJP over the killing of their party workers. There has also been an increase in political violence in the state. BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy was also recently attacked in the state.