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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Prashant Kishore throws Mamata under the Electoral bus; inadvertently admits to secular distortion

The fourth leg of the West Bengal elections started on a high politically charged note yesterday with the leaking of Prashant Kishore’s Clubhouse chat with a bunch of other left-liberal journalists. The audio clip went viral on social media within minutes due to the shocking revelations made by the political strategist of Bengal’s ruling party, the Trinamool Congress.

Not one point Kishore raised in the group chat auger well for the present dispensation. He has exposed TMC’s frayed political stature and admitted to how ordinary Hindus have woken up to the naked minority-appeasement practised by political parties in name of secularism.

As a strategist from the rival camp, Kishore has underlined some of the key factors that may work toward bringing the BJP in power in the eastern state, the most important being the Modi factor. Contrary to the communist-secularist image of Bengalis dominant on social media, Prashant Kishore highlighted in the conversation is that the Bharatiya Prime Minister, who had gained a wide following in the country, commands high popularity in West Bengal as well. He went on to admit that Modi and Mamata are equally popular in WB, an admission of sorts that his boss has lost the vice-like grip she earlier had over the state.

Prashant also admitted that internal surveys done by his team showed the response was predominantly in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party with the majority expecting the formation of a BJP government on May 2nd.

While many are of the view that Suvendu Adhikari swapping parties proved to be the game-changer of this election, Kishore dismissed it asserting that ‘Suvendu was never a factor’. Interestingly, he said that 27% Scheduled Caste population of the state, including the Matua community, are solidly behind the BJP, and that 50-55% of the total Hindu population would vote for BJP. It was also discussed that BJP has enough and more workers in every constituency across West Bengal, a revelation that neither its rival parties nor the commentators in West Bengal had cognizance of.

But arguably the most important admission by Kishore was the blatant and unabashed minority appeasement practised by every political party that has come to power in the state. He said the abiding political principle in the state has been “Whoever Muslims vote for will form the government.”

West Bengal has seen Congress rule in the years succeeding independence, which was replaced by the Communists who ruled for more than three-decade and were finally uprooted by Mamata Banerjee a decade back.

Regardless of the difference in their political ideologies, all the parties looked at the Muslim demography as a fixed vote-bank and their appeasement knew no bounds. This made the Hindu feel betrayed and dejected, with the saffron party being the first and only one to think of the Hindus’ well-being as well. Reciprocating this emotion, the Bengali Hindu are moving towards the BJP with great hopes, admitted Prashant Kishore.

Kishore was roped in by TMC Matriarch Mamata Banerjee to strategize her moves and win the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021. It is alleged by social media users that the political strategist was paid the hefty amount of 500 crores by Banerjee to guide her towards securing a third term. However, his now leaked and viral predictions suggest that hiring him yielded no fruits for the Bengal Chief Minister.

Realizing that he had thrown Mamata under the electoral bus, Prashant Kishore tried to save face with a tweet alleging the BJP of leaking an ‘edited tape’, daring them to provide the full conversation.

Meanwhile, even in the grave political discourse, netizens have found an element of entertainment. As Prashant Kishore concluded his accounts and observation, Lutyens’ journalist Sakshi Joshi posed an interesting question to the political strategist. “I was wondering as a woman as I always see her (Mamata Banerjee) arriving in a helicopter, addressing her audience from the stage, hopping on the helicopter again and delivering another speech after an hour. I have been wondering for so long, when does she go to the washroom? I have never seen her taking any breaks. How does she manage? This is my question,” inquired the independent ‘journalist’ who has worked for BBC and also produced a Modi-bashing documentary on the migrant worker exodus during Covid-19 lockdown.

A little uncomfortable, Prashant Kishore retorts, “Am I expected to answer this also.” This triggered numerous memes and responses from users of Twitter and Facebook. This today is the state of mainstream journalism in the country – filled with individuals who are oblivious to issues on the ground, the pulse of the people, the hopeless track-records of secular politicians they cheer for, enamored with irrelevant details about toilet schedules, sari designs and ability to cook pasta.

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