By Sankar Ray
The Bharatiya Janata Party may apply the operation-dislodge model of breakaway Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in capturing power in Rajasthan and Jharkhand. West Bengal is also in the defection antenna. The Opposition and BJP leader of West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari disclosed almost directly that after Maharashtra, BJP would form governments in Jharkhand and Rajasthan as also West Bengal by 2024.
At a meeting in Coochbehar, north Bengal, Adhikari said, “It has just started in Maharashtra. Now it will be followed by Jharkhand and Rajasthan. And immersion of this (Trinamool Congress government) in 2024.” He stated the same words in two meetings at Falakata, Coochbehar district and Alipurduar district town on the same day. Interestingly, the BJP leader made these statements after meeting the West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar who is accused by all non-BJP parries of functioning under the BJP diktat. Adhikari is also very close to the Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Shinde model is splitting of the ruling party with the BJP leadership sitting in the wings. Knowledgeable circles feel that several hundreds of crores of Indian rupee have been incurred to engineer the split. Nearly 40 Shiv Sena MLAs of Maharashtra were hijacked in a chartered plane to Surat first and there from to Guwahati – both in BJP ruled states.
In Guwahati, they were lodged at the 5-star Hotel Radisson Blu whose 70 of total 190 rooms were booked by Shinde (read Sangh Parivar) . The total weekly rent of these rooms is Rs 58 lakh, while the daily food expenses had been Rs 8 lakhs. Cost of travel by chartered plane is separate.. The MLAs were virtually locked in. They were not allowed to meet with or speak to anyone, least of all media. The Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sharma of BJP went to the hotel and spoke with Shinde.
The West Bengal BJP president, Dr Sukanta Majumder, a member of Lok Sabha, endorsed Adhikari. “The fall of TMC government may happen even before 2024. TMC is internally fractured and not at all well.” But he, unlike Adhikari, pretends that BJP will have nothing to do with the impending cleavage in the TMC legislative party.
In the 200-member Rajasthan state assembly, there are 108 Congress MLAs. Two CPI(M) MLAs and an MLA representing Rashtriya Lok Dal will support the Congress against BJP which has 71 MLAs. But there are 13 independent MLAs. The saffron aim is to ensure defection of 30 Congress MLAs to the BJP.
In Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Indian National Congress have 30 and 18 MLAs respectively in the 81-member legislature, while BJP group has 30 MLAs. The unusual haste with which the Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren announced support to the BJP’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, who is an Adivasi, has shocked opposition parties. Whether Soren will keep bending down further to unfriend INC and join hands with the BJP to form a JMM-BJP coalition-government as it did in the past, is a matter of guess. But the CBI and ED are sure to summon Soren’s family members who are lessee of several mines in Jharkhand. To put further pressure .Once the JMM has been delinked from the opposition on the presidential elections issue, it will be easier for the BJP leadership to continue the pressure to achieve their prime objective.
The BJP cashes in on the footloose unity of anti-BJP parties. Many of the legislators of the non- left opposition parties have connections with corrupt deals. It is easier for the Modi-Shah regime to influence them by making use of the central agencies. Since this method has paid dividends in Maharashtra, this might be applied with more vengeance in Jharkhand in the coming days. (IPA Service)
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