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Mamata 2.0: With great power comes great responsibility

Sourjya Bhowmick | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

With great power comes great responsibility. After Mamata Banerjee's resounding victory, the question is, can she fulfill the huge expectations people have from her?

She must remember that it takes only a few months for a turnaround in political fortune. In 2006, she had won only 29 seats. During the same year, Singur happened, and her electoral luck started shining.

Mamata should not be complacent, but solve the mess that has been created in the state.

Industry and jobs

People of Bengal need jobs. Huge number of youth remain unemployed, or are forced to migrate. You can secure votes by rolling out unemployment subsidy, but in the long term, job creation is the way forward.

Heavy industry and manufacturing sector is a necessity for this new government, when with every passing month, factories are closing down and business giants are not showing interest in the state.

For that to happen, a clear land acquisition policy is needed. But with experience of Singur and Nandigram, it is understood that an industrialisation drive has a high chance of going against the rural vote bank, which wins you elections.

Control political violence

The state has become a hotbed of political violence. Almost every day, we are greeted with news of murder of opponents (sometimes, TMC workers are killed too), houses being burnt, party offices ransacked and cops facing the brunt.

The problem is that TMC is not an organised party. The party has no strong political structure and instructions of Mamata Banerjee mostly remain unfollowed by the workers at the grassroots level.

Her first job is to rein lumpen elements in her party.

Free and effective administration

Bureaucracy, especially police, has its backbone broken under the party's rule. To the extent that regional satraps of the TMC has often been found threatening the police, and even beating or killing police.

Mamata has led this onslaught from the forefront. She had threatened her security when she had to wait for the convoy for an extra few minutes. She has transferred officials whimsically and a few days when she indirectly hinted that the present commissioner of Kolkata Police may have to suffer for being strict and effective during polling.

She needs to change her outlook to increase her popularity among the government officials and the upper middle/middle class of the state. Otherwise, there is no difference between her and her predecessors, who had the same reputation.

First published: 21 May 2016, 2:25 IST
Sourjya Bhowmick @sourjyabhowmick

Born and raised in Kolkata, Sourjya is all about the numbers. He uses data to contextualise stories on a broad range of topics. Formerly with the Hindustan Times and IndiaSpend, any time not spent researching and writing is spent reading non-fiction and tackling his unending collection of films. An alumnus of Presidency College, Kolkata, he has a post-grad degree in Political Science from Calcutta University and was actively involved in student politics. He's a fan of Tintin comics, Germany's football team, Mohun Bagan and Old Monk.