Well, the situation is certainly grim in Bengal. If this kind of a verbal duel continues between Mamata and Modi, the remaining rounds of polling in Bengal will surely be vitiated and may turn more violent. Is there any hope of better sense prevailing? There seems to be no hope at all of Bengal election process cooling down now. The responsibility squarely lies upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Being the PM, a national leader and heading the Executive, the onus was on him to lead by example and exercise much more restraint. But he campaigns in elections like a street fighter and as if he is still in the opposition. It is no holds barred for him when it comes to secure votes and winning elections. But he seems to have met his match in Mamata Banerjee, who too is as feisty a street fighter as any. She seems to have tripped Modi’ s game of polarization in Bengal.
PM Modi’s usual game of polarising voters and mobilising Hindu votes in favour of the BJP is not working to the extent the Prime Minister would like, it seems. The Hindus of Bengal are divided along several parties. The hardcore is, of course, with the BJP. But a large section are also supportive of Mamata Banerjee. She in turn has counter polarized Bengali voters projecting the Modi-Shah-central forces-Election Commission combine’s ‘onslaught’ as an attack on Bengal, Bengali culture and Bengali identity. Mamata’s tactics of projecting herself as the saviour of Bengal and Bengali culture and ethos has a big chunk of both Bengali Hindus and Bengali Muslims rallying round her. Besides, a good number of loyal Left and liberal Hindu sections are also voting for the Left and Congress alliance in Bengal.