TMC: It looks like West Bengal Chief Minister and All India Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee is harping on bigger plans and is trying to be the national alternative to ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi! With Congress proving to be no match to aggressive and dominant BJP, Mamta seems to have taken upon herself the task of cutting the ruling party to size. These ambitions are very clear when we notice that the party has spread its wings from its home state to not just North Eastern states but also to Goa and now even to Telangana.
The recent assembly elections in West Bengal gave a boost to Mamata Banerjee. Not only did the TMC inflict a crushing victory on the BJP, it also managed the vanquish other anti-BJP parties in the state. Both the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) and its left allies did not get even one MLA in the new assembly. Her victory over the BJP was conclusive, but the BJP is waiting in the wings to unseat her, having grown to about 70 seats in the Assembly from three in 2016.
It is said that she is trying to take the fight to the enemy, her focus right now being Tripura and Goa, where the BJP is in power. There is a large Bengali population in Tripura, and the BJP is unnerved. In both States and beyond, the TMC is recruiting disgruntled leaders from other parties and free-floaters. On Wednesday, 12 of the 17 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya joined the TMC. Sushmita Dev and Luizinho Faleiro, defectors from the Congress, are central to the TMC plans in Tripura and Goa, respectively. The induction of Ashok Tanwar, a former Congress MP from Haryana, and a Dalit, may signify a broader plan for the Hindi states.
In process of spreading the TMC wings across the nation, TMC has not set eyes on Telangana. It is said that the TMC was holding a list of leaders from Congress and Telangana Rastra Samiti (TRS) who are unhappy with the present leadership and in mood to rebel against its own party and their leaders. TMC will be targeting them to start its journey in the state, is being mentioned.
Whether all this is sufficient to catapult the TMC as the axis of anti-BJP politics nationally is an open question. At the moment, the TMC challenge is less to the BJP and more to the Congress.