New Delhi: A tell-all book on Bengal politics--The Bengal Conundrum: The Rise of the BJP and the Future of the TMC--will be released on January 18, keeping inview of the coming high-stake Assembly Elections in West Bengal.
The book authored by journalist-turned-media educator Sambit Pal and published by Bloomsbury India, talks about the contemporary political history of Bengal.
Talking to UNI, Mr Pal, who has worked with national and regional media, said, "The main purpose of this book was to document the contemporary political history of Bengal which is otherwise generally forgotten or get distorted and give a clear picture to those living outside Bengal."
The book explains why a state that was the citadel of "Left politics" for decades has turned "Right" in less than 10 years.
The author explains how West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s politics and governance over the past few years "set a fertile ground for the combined force of the BJP and the RSS to construct a compelling political narrative of religious polarisation and identity politics in Bengal."
Once a Left fortress, the race for Bengal, which goes to the polls in April-May, is now limited to the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.
While Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), which has now been in power for nearly 10 years, faces anti-incumbency, the saffron party, which has had a limited presence in the state for decades, is dreaming of grabbing the CM’s chair.
The BJP is taking heart from the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the party had pulled off an unbelievable feat in Bengal--taking their tally of seats from 2 to 18 and vote share of 17 to 40 per cent in just four years.
The book also looks at the political development in Bengal in recent times from various perspectives, including TMC's political and organisational weakness, Ms Banerjee's politics of development, the majoritarian vs minority appeasement politics, BJP and RSS groundwork and organisational restructuring, Left's decline and how Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched an attack on TMC chief. The author talks about the efforts of Ms Banerjee to regain her lost ground post-Lok Sabha elections in 2019 and how she has been constructing an image-makeover on the face of saffron-onslaught.
The author has worked as a broadcast journalist for various regional (Zee, Star Ananda, Kolkata TV as a reporter) and national news channels (Times Now as its Kolkata bureau head) in Kolkata covering West Bengal politics from ground zero for over a decade.(UNI)