By Arun Srivastava
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah is not willing to provide respite or an escape route to chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Putting West Bengal into Narendra Modi’s kitty is the avowed mission of Shah. He is also aware of the fact his inability to conquer the battle of Kolkata would eclipse the stature of his mentor, which he certainly would not like to see happen.
A feeling has been gaining ground that BJP may have changed tack on its approach to Mamata. But it turns out that more than a change of strategy, it is perhaps the apprehension of a severe counteraction by Mamata may be the reason for BJP’s slow pace for executing the plan. She has already told her cadres to get ready for a .sustained struggle, especially against Modi. She is absolutely clear and nurses no illusion that it is the wish of Modi that runs supreme in the party; Amit Shah has only been a tool to implement his political program and nothing moves without his nod. If the BJP decided to attack TMC leaders and Mamata, the TMC would go whole hog and would not abandon any of its leaders who have cases against them. And Amit Shah’s move to target Mamata at this stage may prove to be counter-productive.
In fact, political commentators are in a state of stupor about what step Mamata would take if the BJP attacks her. There are also two other reasons for going slow; first the somersault of Nitish and the plot, though ill-fated, to defeat Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha election. His defeat would have eclipsed any aura about Sonia Gandhi; so Amit Shah was busy with his task for more than a month. Obviously for him Bengal did not merit immediate priority.