Five of the 8 phases of the assembly elections in West Bengal have been completed and the preparation for the sixth is in the final stages. Each phase is proving to be a challenge for the Election Commission and the security forces. While everyone in Bengal is feeling the fear of political violence very easily during the elections, but the violence in the national media, especially during the fourth phase of voting, brought the whole country to a halt, when 700 -800 Trinamool Congress supporters surrounded the central security forces and 4 people were killed in the firing by the security forces in self-defense.
There have been reports from many places that the voters of the entire village were not allowed to vote and when the security forces intervened to ensure the voting, the villagers were heard to say that they have voted now, but what will happen at night, when the security forces Will leave from here.
The whole country is shocked by the violence that is taking place in the Bengal elections. But this is not new to Bengal. The only new thing is that this time the whole country is witnessing and experiencing this violence of Bengal, this fear.
In fact, just before this, Bengal had panchayat elections in 2018. In that election, the fear of the Trinamool Congress was that no one could muster the courage to stand against its candidates in more than one-third of the seats.
Today, whether it is due to corruption or due to uneasiness within the party due to Didi’s nephew, the truth is that the story of the political demise of the Trinamool Congress had started from the 2018 panchayat elections.
Because panchayat elections directly affect a large number of rural population, the horrific violence, intimidation and terror that took place in 2018 pitted a large number of rural people of Bengal against the Trinamool Congress. But this does not mean that violence in Bengal politics originated from the Panchayat elections of 2018.
Bengal has a long history of violence in politics and elections. It began with the increasing dominance of the Left in Bengal’s power. For the first time in 1967, the Marxist Communist Party (CPM) in Bengal tasted power through the United Front government.
With this, the bloody chapter in Bengal politics started. Members of the influential Sai family were mercilessly killed on 17 March 1970 in Burdwan because they refused to join the CPM except the Congress.
Then in February 1971, just before the general elections, Forward Bloc national secretary Hemanta Basu was assassinated. Some leaders of the bloc blamed the CPM for this and the CPM for the Congress. But nothing was ever known about the killer.
In 1972, Congress returned to power. And in the meantime the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) from Naxalbari village started a violent leftist movement, which aimed to change the power on the strength of the gun and bring the rule of the proletariat and for this all the rich people (bourgeoisie) were killed because they Declared as an ally of power.
Congress Chief Minister Siddharth Shankar Ray gave leave to the police to crush this violent leftist terrorism and the records and literature of the time shows that the poor villagers suffered terrible oppression in the name of crushing extremist leftist terrorism.
Many youths were killed in fake encounters and the police victimization increased so much that in 1977 the CPM-led United Front returned to power.
Political violence in Bengal gradually began to institutionalize once the Left was deeply entrenched in Bengal’s power and the Congress was weakened. The situation was that it became impossible to do politics by opposing CPM in Bengal.
Why politics, to do business, to study, to build houses and for almost every social aspect of life it was difficult to do anything without getting the green signal from CPM.
At the same time, on 27 July 2000, CPM activists brutally murdered 11 landless Muslim laborers in Suchpur village of Birbhum district. This was the time when Mamata Banerjee stood up to the CPM terror for the first time as a strong political figure.
The political confrontation between the Trinamool and the CPM started from here onwards. On 14 March 2007, 14 villagers died in police firing in Nandigram and the Trinamool made it a big issue.
Mamata Banerjee made Nandigram and later Singur a symbol of her fight against the CPM and after the deaths of over 50 people over the next few years, the Trinamool Congress finally came to power in 2011, ending 34 years of rule of the Left parties. .
History is repeating itself once again. Just as Mamata Banerjee stood firm in the face of CPM terror and gave Bengal an alternative, some similar hopes have been given by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers to the people of Bengal after the violence of the 2018 panchayat elections.
This is the reason that while the urban voter is considered the core voter of the BJP in the entire country and it takes time for the party to reach the villages, in Bengal, it has made its way in the first villages and in the very lower sections of the society.
Kolkata is still considered to be the most difficult for the BJP. But as heard in Mamata Banerjee’s political advisor Prashant Kishore in a leaked conversation with journalists, the BJP is emerging as the most preferred party of Dalits and tribes of the Matua community.
Wherever violence is, its victim side is always the weaker section of the society. The political violence of Bengal has brought the weaker sections of the society from the CPM, previously cut off from the Trinamool, and has now separated from the Trinamool and put it in the BJP’s court.
In such a situation, the biggest question is whether the BJP will control the power of Bengal, end this vicious cycle of political violence and give protection and trust to the weaker sections of the society or a new game of violence will start in which the players Will the frost change?
(The author is knowledgeable in economic and political matters)
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