Fighting for his political life, Suvendu Adhikari has turned to Hindu-Muslim polarisation. Whether this will be enough to dent Mamata Banerjee’s appeal is to be seen.
All eyes are on Nandigram. The constituency will see a high-stakes electoral battle between West Bengal’s chief minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee and her friend-turned-foe Suvendu Adhikari, purported to be the most influential strongman in the region. This has rapidly turned into a battle of egos and perception for Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Adhikari’s new political home, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While it is easy to get caught up in the media frenzy, a close look at how the contest in Nandigram has unfolded offers clues into the changing pattern of West Bengal’s politics.
As I have argued earlier, much of the state’s politics is predicated upon the control of the gram panchayats. This system, perfected during Left rule, ensures that the access of citizens to the State is mediated through a powerful gram panchayat, effectively requiring significant territorial control of villages for large-scale policy implementation.
News Source : Hindustan Times