Post-poll politics

Bengal 2021 was not a normal election. This was the most audacious political heist attempted in recent times by the party in power at the Centre. Bengal was the final frontier that the BJP needed to cross to consolidate its hegemony over eastern India. The party chose the West Bengal election to launch an all-out attack. It threw everything into it-tons of money, host of pliant media willing to use planted stories, the awesome organisational machine and the king of election campaigns- Narendra Modi. BJP even threw every caution and norm to the winds, from the sanctity of the Election Commission (EC) in scheduling an unbelievable 8-phased polls while covid-19 was peaking across India to deployment of lakhs of security forces to protect BJP voters. West Bengal (with 292 members) had an 8-phased poll whereas Tamil Nadu (with 234 members) had only a single phase and Assam (with 126 members) had a four-phase poll. Elections in West Bengal ended on April 29,2021 and results were declared on May 2,2021. The entire nation awaited what the voters of Bengal will do as Mamata was being pushed to the wall and her close aides began deserting her in droves Mamata fought a lone and lonely battle against the might of the Modi-led government. Her closest aides and party workers began deserting her in droves. It seemed like the beginning of the end of the stormy petrel of West Bengal. Mamata did not back down but fought like a wounded Tigress from a wheel chair against ‘Ashwamedha Yagna’ of the BJP. As the nation waited for the expected, the voters of West Bengal however delivered the unexpected- a huge humiliating blow to the BJP and its turncoats in the state. Voters of Bengal gave Mamata a huge thumbs up with 213 seats, up by three seats it won in 2016. In any state, post-poll violence is a rare phenomenon since everything is forgiven or forgotten. However, in West Bengal the elections were most bitterly fought and every trick was used by both TMC and BJP. In West Bengal, the BJP had the state governor as its inspiration. The governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has never shied away from attacking the TMC government. Even on the day he administered oat of office to the new TMC government, the governor reminded Mamata to quell the post-poll violence. Needless to day, even central probe agencies had been making life difficult for TMC leaders with their now familiar story of summoning them, detaining them and harassing them. These harassments stopped if the targeted leaders switch sides.After the din and dust of the election campaign has settled down almost three months back, yet the BJP continues to kick up the dust in West Bengal. True, that post-poll violence is a serious offence and should be looked into. However, there were also pre-poll violence in West Bengal which are equally serious. The Calcutta High Court has ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the post-poll violence in West Bengal this May. The CBI probe will be monitored by the HC. The post-poll violence pertains to instances of murder, crime against women soon after the results of the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections were declared. Hopefully, the probe will expose those responsible and bringing them to book so as to end goonda-giri in elections.