For people who are generally known to be gentle, genteel, soft-spoken ‘bhadraloks’ with a liking for sweets like ‘sandesh’ and ‘rosogolla’ and Rabindrasangeet (Tagore’s songs), Bengalis are also suspected of having a mutinous streak in them.
With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Madhav now saying that his party will get a majority of its own in the Lok Sabha and not fall short of the requisite number as he had said earlier, the opposition will probably have to redouble its unity efforts.
Mamata Banerjee’s prime ministerial ambitions may have been severely jolted by the violence during the West Bengal elections which has recalled, according to a polling officer, what used to happen in Bihar a decade or so ago. Nor is the latest period of lawlessness the only time when West Bengal has seen such unruliness.
Although the latest poll surveys suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not be able to get a majority of its own in the ongoing polls, the leaders of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), which has not been formed except in bits and pieces, are bound to regret their lost opportunity.
Conventional wisdom has it that the current polls will not produce a clear-cut result as in 2014. The reason is that there is no definite trend for or against any party at the national level although such tendencies are there in some states such as Tamil Nadu.
The week when the polling began wasn’t a good one for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). For one, the party ran afoul of the Election Commission on Narendra Modi’s biopic and a TV channel named after the Prime Minister.
It would have been better if L.K. Advani had given his excellent advice to his party men about their attitude towards other parties before being denied a Lok Sabha ticket. Now, it would appear that the nonagenarian former Deputy Prime Minister was expressing his resentment by criticising the party for not choosing him as a candidate for yet another term in the Lok Sabha.
Unlike 2014, the economy is no longer the focal point of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign. While five years ago, the party’s emphasis was on a market-driven pursuit of across-the-board economic growth ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’, the focus has now shifted to nationalism.
Although it is now almost certain that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) - the group of parties led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - will attain a majority in the Lok Sabha in the forthcoming general elections, the question will nevertheless arise whether Narendra Modi will be the Prime Minister since the BJP itself is expected to fall short of a majority of its own.
Veteran journalist and a seasoned political commentator.