Opinion

Mamata under siege

Updated on: Apr 19, 2012
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It is sad that these days one has to write repeatedly on the problems being faced by the people of West Bengal because of the excesses being committed by those in power in the state.

This is not to suggest in any way that this was not the case before the last State Assembly elections in 2011. The situation was equally bad at that time.

The big difference, however, is that the change wrought in the political landscape in the state last year led to the hope being generated among people that things would at last change for the better under a non-Left Front political dispensation.

The tragedy engulfing West Bengal today is that the hope is shattered with each passing day. People are rapidly coming to the realisation that far from things changing for the better with a change of personnel at Writers' Buildings, the outlook, as far as the quality of life for the average man is concerned, is not going to improve. Whether it will worsen in the months ahead is still uncertain, but the signs are ominous indeed.

Who takes responsibility?

The important question is ‘why?' which brings up the issue of responsibility. Certainly, the Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, will have to shoulder the blame on the premise that the buck always stops with the head of the Government.

But then, Ms Banerjee has amply shown since she assumed power last May that she is yet to shift into the mode of effective governance from that of a Leader of Opposition, a role she played with aplomb ever since the Singur and Nandigram episodes gave her the chance to deliver the coup de grace to the Left Front.

The scale of her achievement is, of course, magnified manifold by the fact that the Left Front Government lost power after an uninterrupted run since 1977.

Can Ms Banerjee ever get away from the historical role of an Opposition leader? This is a difficult question to answer because the needs of good governance are totally different from those required to be a good Opposition leader. Only time will tell whether she is able to make the transition or not.

Even so, West Bengal must continue to hope that she will learn from her ‘errors', of which there have been quite a few in the recent months with the latest being the arrest of a Jadavpur University professor for the ‘crime' of transmitting an intelligent cartoon lampooning the Chief Minister vis-a-vis the decision to replace the Union Railway Minister.

Misplaced zeal

To underscore the point, Ms Banerjee's unquestioned sincerity and total devotion to getting West Bengal out of the rut it has slipped into due to poor governance during the past three decades is not in doubt. But she alone cannot form and run the Government of the day. The problem is that she is surrounded by people who have no business to be where they are, and who are bent on taking the entire level of governance to one aimed at furthering their personal interests and, of course, settling old scores.

In short, Mamata Banerjee is under siege by a host of undesirable elements, who have started testing her resolve not to allow her party to go down the drain.

Published on March 12, 2018

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