Vacant chairs on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s left show the
missing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyaya, at a Yaas review meet, at Kalaikunda Airbase in West Midnapore.
THE open defiance of and brazen hostility to Central Government by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is actually only a tip of the iceberg of a sinister, subterranean conspiracy to create disturbance in the country. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, thus, is only the face of a massive political build-up being masterminded by elements whose masters may even be sitting elsewhere in the world. Several political parties in the country appear to have joined hands in this dirty design as part of the run up to the next general elections in 2024, ‘The Hitavada’ has learned reliably. That is the reason why Mamata Banerjee has been indulging in an open defiance of the Centre in every possible manner, the latest being the Alapan Bandopadhyaya episode.
It is becoming more and more obvious that in order to play her political game, Mamata Banerjee has chosen to offer Bandopadhyaya as a bait to the Centre. She appears to be daring the Centre to act so that she can kick up a lot of dust against the move. In this game, sources indicate, leaders of many Opposition parties have joined hands under the table to keep the pot boiling. There are several extensions of this sinister political plot, such as a deliberate nationwide drive to spread disinformation about vaccination campaign and to create confusion among unsuspecting masses. The reported widespread reluctance of thousands of people belonging to economically weaker and politically fragile sections of the society to vaccination is part of that dirty design.
Similar disinformation and canard are being spread as regards several other issues as well, some responsible quarters in the Central Government have noticed. However, the main focus of this drive is West Bengal -- which had continued reeling under TMC-sponsored violence of unprecedented nature. Increasing numbers of cases of attacks on so-called supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), assaults on women, loot and arson are being noticed all over West Bengal. Initially, these unfortunate incidents were taking place mostly in rural and semi-urban areas. In the past some time, however, goon-gangs are targeting spots in urban centers as well, as per the reports trickling out of various trouble-spots in West Bengal. Unfortunately, the so-called national media as well as most television networks are mysteriously refraining from reporting on these ugly incidents. Nevertheless, a demand for imposition of President’s Rule in West Bengal has been becoming louder every passing day. Not just some sections of the political community but also lawyers and intellectuals also have stepped up the demand for President’s Rule in West Bengal. Though the Centre has not been able to make up its mind on the issue, it is obvious that taking a step will be fraught with risks of serious misdemeanour, besides unseemly political consequences.
However, the Central Government has been monitoring the West Bengal situation very closely and may not hesitate to take appropriate steps if opportunity to do so offers itself, ‘The Hitavada’ has learned. The Centre’s administrative action against Alapan Bandopadhyaya, currently the Chief Adviser to Mamata Banerjee, is part of this thought-process. As first steps, the Centre is following a fully administrative route. In the process, not only has it slapped serious charges of professional misconduct and deliberate defiance of authority on Alapan Bandopadhyaya, but also has issued separate administrative orders to all the States and Union Territories that no office should be given any assignment immediately after his or her retirement from Government service. That is what has happened in the Bandopadhyaya case when Mamata Banerjee “retired” him as Chief Secretary and appointed as her Chief Adviser -- in total defiance of the Centre’s thinking.
The Centre has now created an administrative point of action that would stop any repetition of such action all over the country. Yet, imposition of President’s Rule will be a decision that may shake up the nation inside out. The Centre will have to wait for the right moment to make any move in that regard. Eventually, it may never take that course, if things start falling in right order. Such details apart, it is becoming more and more evident that whatever Mamata Banerjee is doing is only the tip of the proverbial political iceberg with sinister and serious implications, if not handled properly. It is obvious, therefore, that the Centre is taking very cautious steps as part of its counter to the defiance that seeks to disturb the federal structure and unitary spirit.