Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), which works for the Trinamul Congress in the party’s bid to retain power in West Bengal by winning the 2021 Assembly elections, has observed that a majority of the people in the state believe that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the “pride of Bengal” (‘Banglar Gorbo Mamata’), as compared to the BJP’s counter campaign ‘Banglar Lajja Mamata’ (Bengal’s shame Mamata).

I-PAC team members today also claimed that people in Bengal reject the BJP’s smear campaign. According to observations made by I-PAC team members, even in national trends, BJP’s attempt at maligning Bengal fails as people have ranked the Banglar Garbo Mamata trend in the 16th position as compared to the saffron party’s smear campaign, which ranks 28th.

However, on the other hand, Darjeeling’s BJP MP Raju Bista, who today wrote to Miss Banerjee, demanding exemption of taxes and penalties on vehicles, said: “There is a slight difference between sarcasm and compliment, not many people get it. I cannot claim to vouch for what was said back then. Yes, indeed under nine years of TMC misrule in Bengal, they have perfected many negativities, and they are in fact the ‘best’ in series of scams, misrules and mis-governance.”

Amid criticism from opposition parties, Trinamul Congress leaders, including party chief Miss Banerjee, keep tweeting their political views to take on the former. Significantly, I-PAC brings to the media’s notice all matters related to the party immediately after leaders take to Twitter.

According to I-PAC’s message today, state tourism minister Gautam Deb tweeted: “Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said: “Didi, under your leadership, West Bengal is becoming Best Bengal.” On the other hand, Miss Banerjee also tweeted: “..… Wheels of development in Bengal would not stop even in times of crisis.”

Notably, I-PAC yesterday forwarded to the media a message from the CM, where she tweeted, “We will create a model for India to execute large projects like Deocha Pachami Coal Block. This shall be done in phases and with full public support by adopting best mining practices in a time bound manner. Wheels of development in Bengal won’t stop even in time of crisis.”

However, amid efforts being made by the TMC and I-PAC, BJP leaders are determined to dislodge Miss Banerjee from power in the 2021 polls. Asked to comment, Mr Bista preferred to raise the issue of the chit fund scam, and how thousands of crores of people’s hard earned money was allegedly robbed.

“No honest businesses can survive in Bengal due to the syndicate raj and unless they give cut money to TMC-backed syndicates,” Mr Bista said, adding, “Bengal is a safe haven for illegal infiltrators like Rohingyas and other illegal Bangladeshis granted state protection.”

The MP further criticised the Miss Banerjee-led government, citing some examples of “atrocities” against the common people by the use of state machineries to allegedly suppress voices of the people and her “anti-people policies, depriving people of their rights to avail of central government schemes like the Kishan Sanman Nidhi or Ayushman Bharat.”

He also claimed that Miss Banerjee had “pushed” the state under massive debt to the tune of over Rs 4.75 Lakh crore in the past nine years and that she had failed to attract business and investment.

“There is no focus on development and economic growth, but there is massive misuse of public funds,” Mr Bista added.