And what a price?

Ipsita Kabiraj
NSoJ Bureau
A youth leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bengal Yogesh Varshney announced a reward of 11 lakhs for those who can get Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s head for him. The fiery chief minister is known for her no-nonsense
approach to any issue has faced several threats before. Rising up as a youth congress leader to establish an independent
political party without any political god father in a very politically volatile state like Bengal is certainly no mean
task. As she has seen many such threats and physical attacks on her from oppoments as well as the police, this came as
no big surprise.
Mr Varshney who has remained hardly known outside his area leave alone the state has now shot into limelight thanks to
the latest threat against the incumbent chief minister of the state. It would be an understatement to state that the
relationship between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamul Congress has not been cordial. Last year’s state
elections which saw Mamata riding against anti incumbency factor and returning to Writer’s building with greater share
of votes than the previous poll was in itself history.
Needless to say that political pundits were caught off guard at this stunning election result which has made her even
more formidable. Mamata has a impeccable personal record and is well known for her simple lifestyle and connect with the
masses. Ms Banerjee who was known to be driven around in a Zen car even when she was a union minister was forced to
increase her security cover and had to keep a ring of security whenever she went out for any public event.
Mr Varshney’s threat looks like has come as a response to a lathi charge in Birbhum district to disperse a rally raising
slogans on Hanuman Jayanti.
 The rally which also saw young kids brandishing swords attracted severe reprimand from the chief minister herself.
Varshney claimed that Banerjee was anti-Hindu. “On the eve of Hanuman Jayanti, the Mamata government beat up people
wearing red shirts. On the other hand, she hosts Iftar. Are Hindus not humans?” said the youth leader. He added, “I
offer 11 lakhs to anyone who beheads Mamata Banerjee.”
Ever since his brazen statements, no FIR has been lodged against him.  The latest threat by a small time leader of the BJP is not the first time the Bengal Chief Minister has been issued with death threats. Ms Banerjee who has time and again asserted the support of the people has always beleived that there is nothing for her to fear especially in Bengal. After the bitter political battle last year Bharatiya Janata Party has
smelt an oppotunity to be the second party in Bengal after the shocking fall of the left parties in Bengal. The congress
has been almost a no player since decades and has not seen a leader who could take on the might of the Left Front.
Mamata who has often come out to say that she does not discriminate between Hindus and Muslims, has been accused
several times by the Bharatiya Janata Party on being soft on migration from across the border. The 1971 war which left
a deep scar on the state’s pysche is yet to heal.
In the recent past Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the government of sideling Hindu festivals like Ram Navami and
Hanuman Jayanti which witnesses long rallies being taken around. Even the rally at Birbhum was denied police permission as police feared unwanted trouble.
At a Hanuman Jayanti rally 40 km from Kolkata, a bomb was hurled and 4 people were injured. So can you blame Banerjee
for that?
One has to look at the long term strategy of political parties to come to power using any trick of the trade. As one
witnesses in the vast Indian political scenario, it can be emotional issues to anything to do with language, religion or
identity.
Despite Bharatiya Janata Party distancing itself from the comment made by its leader, the damage is done and one has to wait and see how these events would unfold in a land known for its turbulent political landscape.
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