Mamata’s golden silence continues even amidst high drama in Maharashtra

Abhishek Law November 24 | Updated on November 24, 2019

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee

The West Bengal Chief Minister didn’t say anything after the Ayodhya verdict; she is yet to comment on the events in Maharashtra

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, the BJP’s biggest critic and bete noire, has maintained a stoic silence over the events in Maharashtra, which saw the saffron party pull off a political coup of sorts by enticing Ajit Pawar and a faction of the NCP to support Devendra Fadnavis for a second term as Maharashtra Chief Minister;.

Normally quick to react on political developments across the country, Banerjee, the BJP’s staunchest critic, is known to go hammer and tongs against any move by the party. In part, this helps bolster her credentials nationally as the face of opposition to the ruling party at the centre.

Banerjee did criticise Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after he imposed President’s rule in the State earlier this month. But even that was a veiled comment that didn’t name the governor.

“I generally do not comment on constitutional posts, but a few people (governors) are acting just like BJP mouthpieces. In my State, too, you have seen what is going on — they want to run a parallel administration,” she had said.

Quick response

Typically, Banerjee is quick to in her reactions to the actions of the Narendra Modi government. When Demonetisation was announced, the West Bengal Chief Minister took to social media in a matter of minutes to criticise the decision. Similarly, after the surgical strikes, Banerjee was quick to raise questions.

She has been on the warpath with the Centre on a number of issues, including implementation of the centrally-sponsored Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme.

Maintaining Restraint

But, over the last few months, Banerjee has maintained restraint when it comes to reacting to the BJP’s policies and actions.

After the Ayodhya verdict, the Trinamool Congress supremo remained silent but later in the day penned a poem in Bengali (Unspoken) which was seen as her reaction. Much speculation followed on what she was trying to convey in the poem, which was posted on Facebook.

“She is concentrating on building a favourable opinion on the issue of implementation of NRC (National Register of Citizens). She is trying to use it as her trump card. Hence you see that topic takes up most of her public speeches,” a political analyst said on condition of anonymity.

Senior Trinamool Congress leaders say they have also been asked to maintain restraint; when it comes to commenting on the BJP and its policies.

Published on November 24, 2019

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