For the past three months and more, Amit Shah and his army, and of course Modi himself, have been so busy devising strategies to conquer at least one large state in which the BJP has no roots that they ignored the experts’ warnings upcoming second wave of Covid. Undoubtedly they also had an eye on Tamil Nadu and Kerala and to blame them they made some effort in Kerala as well, but by and large they knew that at best they could win a seat or two in either of these two southern states . So the best bet was Bengal, which had something to do with Assam next door. After all, they only won Assam by seducing former congressional leaders like Himanta Biswa Sarma after condemning them as corrupt.
If Sarma could work miracles in Assam, why couldn’t Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari repeat the same feat in Bengal? But as one Bengali friend and journalist pointed out, the way Modi and Shah Mamata slandered and mocked hurt Bengali pride and they rightly and rightly gave it back to the duo. No doubt Mamata would have won comfortably in some way, but I wonder if her victory would have been so far-reaching and overwhelming if this had been a normal choice, without all of the central machinery including their investigative agencies working around the clock on Mamata and her targeted extended family.
In Assam, the BJP had a government and with it its notorious muscle power. Himanta Biswa Sarma publicly threatened to teach political opponents a lesson, and the electoral commission winked and looked the other way again. Modi had muscles, machines and the community card. Recall how Amit Shah AIUDF mentioned Ajmal repeatedly during his election campaigns to warn Assamese Hindu voters of the threat of Muslim takeover if they could not vote for the BJP. I understand that the Assam win would not have been so crucial to the BJP if the referee had allowed fair play and a level playing field.