Didi’s Delhi gamble: Mamata Banerjee seeks to cash in on demonetisation

A party vice president spelled it out, while speaking at an election rally at Agartala in Tripura, when he predicted that Mamata Banerjee would be Prime Minister in 2019.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Kolkata | Updated: January 6, 2017 5:43 pm
mamata banerjee, mamata, trinamool congress, demonetisation, mamata banerjee rally, arvind kejriwal, bengal CM, mamata rally, mamata azadpur rally, india news Mamata Banerjee addresses a mass rally against demonetisation of currency notes, at Azadpur Mandi in New Delhi on Thursday (PTI Photo by Shahbaz Khan)

Many asked the inevitable question after Mamata Banerjee took her fight against demonetisation to the streets of Delhi – a demonstration outside the Reserve Bank of India and a rally at Azadpur Wholesale market. Why is Mamata Banerjee in Delhi?

A party vice president spelled it out, while speaking at an election rally at Agartala in Tripura, when he predicted that Banerjee would be Prime Minister in 2019. While some of that optimism might just be electoral hyperbole, that Mamata dreams of an increased national role can no longer be doubted. Confident following a victory in the Assembly that saw her emerge with 71% majority (211 seats of 294), Banerjee now has the numbers to flex her muscle in Delhi.

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WATCH VIDEO: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Protest Against Demonetisation

Mukul Roy’s own assessment is that TMC will emerge as the single-largest party after the 2019 general elections. He said, “Laluji and Nitishji may manage to secure 20/25 seats while BJD is likely to win 18/20 seats in the next Lok Sabha elections. DMK or AIDMK will secure 39/40 seats while Netaji or Mayawatiji may won 25/30 seats,” he predicted. He continued: “It means Trinamool Congress will emerge as the largest party after the 2019 general elections.”

Presently, TMC has 34 of the 42 seats in the Lok Sabha. If the 2016 Assembly elections are anything to go by, this number will only increase. Mamata has already made significant dents into the Congress bastion of Behrampore, Murshidabad and Malda, where their 4 seats are concerned. The Left has alleged that Banerjee is similarly wiping out their opposition in the state, breaking their ranks with “muscle or money”.

Mamata Banerjee had been attempting to hold a meeting in Delhi, wherein she would attempt to bring forth different non-Congress, non-BJP leaders, particularly Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal to galvanize a “federal front”. The issue, that she had been seeking to get leaders to unite on was that of “Modi’s gradual weakening of the federal structure of India.” But Modi’s announcement on November 8 of demonetisation, declaring that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were illegal tender, gave her an even better plank for opposition.

Her response was immediate, declaring her opposition and the move as “draconian” (in all caps) on Twitter. Other leaders were more measured while Nitish Kumar went on to initially praise the move, while later speaking about the “inconvenience caused by the move.” On Friday, after the first problems began emerging and complaints started pouring in, Banerjee spent the day calling up different political parties – ranging from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to the Shiv Sena leadership.

WATCH VIDEO: Demonetisation: Select Petrol Pumps To Dispense Cash Up To Rs 2,000

This was Banerjee’s great political gamble. An instinctual politician, Banerjee assessed that this move – irrespective of its long-term implications – would inconvenience many poor families, traders who depended on liquid money among others. While the BJP alleges that Banerjee’s own issues with the demonetisation scheme are intrinsically linked to the “corruption prevailing within the Trinamool Congress,” a TMC leader said, “The allegation was an obvious one. BJP is saying that anyone who speaks up against demonetisation is corrupt. This was their gamble, but Didi (Mamata) called their bluff.”

Banerjee shocked many when she declared she was even willing to ally with her arch rivals, the Left. While it is unlikely that Banerjee truly expected Sitaram Yechury and the Left to ally with her, considering both have declared the other corrupt in the state for almost three decades, Banerjee did manage to push the Left into a further corner. “She has taken up an issue that is traditionally that of the Left. By reacting quickly and with more fury, she has taken the lead and is bringing forth different parties together while isolating us,” admitted a Left leader.

WATCH VIDEO | Big Jolt To AIADMK: Find Out What Happened

Banerjee’s Delhi gambles in the past have in the past been painful. Her attempts to generate support for Abdul Kalam to run for President in 2012 ended painfully. More recently, her rally in 2014 saw Anna Hazare giving it a miss. This time Banerjee has realized that her popularity in Bengal – which becomes often cult-like in its mania – can’t be replicated in Delhi. “She wants to ensure there is opposition unity. It is not an easy thing to achieve. In fact, its the hardest thing in politics and no one knows that better than her, but with this she is trying to bring forth a platform ahead of 2019,” added the aide.

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  1. D
    Dinesh
    Nov 18, 2016 at 6:38 am
    Mamata why are you worried what you going to do with your black money ha ha stupid pig
    Reply
    1. M
      Mytake
      Nov 18, 2016 at 6:26 am
      ... Mamata will be PM and Kejriwal the President! No ends in sight to the "fortune" of poor Indians! lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;After Nehruvian hiccup it will be Mumu hiccup, if only Indians can swallow the bait! Digestion is not necessary!!!
      Reply
      1. S
        Shall
        Nov 18, 2016 at 4:48 am
        Rest of Indians dont have Bengali dimentia
        Reply
        1. O
          outraged
          Nov 18, 2016 at 5:50 am
          Modi seems to have caught both Mamta and Kejriwal at a paticularly bad time in terms of liquiditylt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;both are going mental and its becoming more and more entertaininglt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;am waiting for the benami crackdown to kick in. More fun
          Reply
          1. A
            Abbiya
            Nov 18, 2016 at 7:02 am
            Now indian comman people facing tough conditions. Feku and company with chaddi gang didn't realise about the comman indian people suffering. .daily they have change 5 time their dress and they have best actors in emotional black mailing
            Reply
            1. C
              Chand
              Nov 18, 2016 at 9:31 am
              Mamata is trying to upstage Congress and occupy opposition space. Her stand against the government initiatives to fight black money is otherwise hard to understand. She has found support from Kejriwal who is also trying to spread his wings outside Delhi. It's a political game being enacted in the capital by these ambitious leaders.
              Reply
              1. A
                Arun
                Nov 18, 2016 at 10:50 am
                Both Mamata Didi and Arvind Kejriwal have already been discarded from the minds of Aam Aadmi in Delhi.Next time she would not come again to Delhi as no Party except AAP respects her as responsible leader in Indian Politics..
                Reply
                1. A
                  Arun
                  Nov 18, 2016 at 10:35 am
                  The main grudge against Narendra Modi by Mamata Bnerjee is not over any policy matters but she lost bargaining power with Modi Govt even she won 34 seats for Lok sabha Election 2014.This made her uncomfortable all time as BJP has won 282 seats.No party wants closer to her Party TMC due to her whimsical nature since she joined politics.There is no taker her in Delhi except Arvind Kejriwal whom Aam Aadmi has now discarded.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    avd
                    Nov 18, 2016 at 5:05 am
                    It is advised Mamata Banerjee CM not to go with Arvind kejriwal who has NO credibility and respect in Public.MB is respected all over as sincere, for her simplicity and honest CM and wants to do something to the poor people as seen in her state.Further in the interest of state She must have a good relation with Modi Govt so that WB gets more funds being important state in East region.She should not keep prejudice mind against Narenda Modi.Need of hor for state is industrial peace and more industries ,more employments to the intellectual Bengalis.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      ashok s
                      Nov 18, 2016 at 4:12 am
                      Demonetization is the biggest scam in history of India. Leaked info , interference in RBI job . tax evaders charge at 20% or less instead of 30% average. See if 3 trillion doesn't turn up in banking systems I.e @20% so black money actually lost that amount not full amount which is at tax rate below national I.t tax rate @30%
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Avinash
                        Nov 18, 2016 at 5:10 am
                        acc to bjp every party is corrupt but they are the only party with clean leaders from A to Z .. HAHAHHAHAHAHA
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Avinash
                          Nov 18, 2016 at 5:09 am
                          she will definitely be a better PM than feku jumlebaaz.
                          Reply
                          1. B
                            Balaji
                            Nov 18, 2016 at 7:52 am
                            West Bengal election result are not true qualification for the highest post. This is the same west Bengal who voted a party for three decade. The educated people in west Bengal are least interested in politics and not getting chance to cast the vote because of their busy schedule and others are very slow to know the bad effect . This manmata believes only on dramabazi . The reasoning and comprehensive power is very low and champion in hate politics. No creativity , No idea for any development and even does not have mind for the common things to understand. If such a person dreaming for the PM post ,then it will be the greatest disaster for the country. U see the present example, Everybody knows about the temporary difficulties. It will last for some days. Somewhere it is expected 30 days and somewhere it is expected 50days. Then what is the new citing these difficulties for creating a chaotic situation. whether this expected time limit is over. Whether we are in a position to blame the inefficiency of the Govt. In case things not moving as per planning then there is a point to show the anger. Why so early? Why one is not waiting for the expected time to react? People should be aware of these hypocrites, for these good for nothing goondas if they want anything good for the country.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              BKD
                              Nov 18, 2016 at 5:09 am
                              Once in 2012 to prevent Pranab Mukherjee from electing President with Mulayam, next in 2014 LS poll Ramlila Maidan scheduled with Anna Hazare, now thrisd time in a row with 2 years interval. Blackened the face of Bengal. No job, no women security, only power hunger. This is transformed Didi. Total Gamble.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Arun
                                Nov 18, 2016 at 4:03 am
                                So far Mamata Didi is concerned she has no value in any Indian state except her state WB.Others look at her like what they look at Arvind Kejriwal who has no stuff except shouting and fooling Aam Aadmi. Educated youths leave WB and try to get job in other states.Let us see what she can do if Modi govt does not role back Demonetization.Hope this was her last visit Delhi as she has now realised no party wants ociate with her party.
                                Reply
                                1. D
                                  dd
                                  Nov 18, 2016 at 3:26 am
                                  CROOKS are just in the market to diver people..
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sanjay Gupta
                                    Nov 18, 2016 at 10:28 am
                                    But the writer of the colomn misssd a very important point..Mamta bannerjee has presence and base only in West Bengal..she is trying to align with Arviind Kejriwal who also nurses ambitions of being the PM and is trying to pitch against Modi on a daily basis...wishful thinking..all the best..result is already known..no prize for guessing..
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      SI
                                      Nov 18, 2016 at 3:27 am
                                      A woman without any .... 1) Principles,2) Ethics, 3) Ideas , 4) Vision and 5) GREAT POWER MONGER is exactly like AK and probably can become Delhi CM at the best. Even West Bengal will throw her BUT are scared of her Terrorist Tactics.
                                      Reply
                                      1. L
                                        Lovely
                                        Nov 19, 2016 at 7:55 am
                                        There are three in waiting list ----- nittu, kejuruddin, Mumtaz of WB .
                                        Reply
                                        1. H
                                          hemant
                                          Nov 18, 2016 at 5:51 am
                                          Keji and Mamta are busy in politics that is why Delhi and Bengal are suffering. She need to go home and try exchanging currency biil she got from Sarda scam, she is still holding on to possibility of it will be reverted and her happy days will be back again.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Kejri is using his and his wife's connection in IT to get some relief but no use. He has called many of his friend ( some of those are my friend as well) . Good luck Kejriwal at present for you " A friend in need is friend indeed' .
                                          Reply
                                          1. k
                                            k.jatt
                                            Nov 18, 2016 at 3:33 am
                                            What a low time for IE has to put these type of articles to fill space
                                            Reply
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