Mamata’s ‘Wheelchair Politics’ Won’t Fetch Sympathy Votes, Say Opposition Parties
Kolkata: Discharged from the hospital two days after suffering injuries in her foot and shoulder while greeting people from her car in Nandigram, Mamata Banerjee has thereafter been touring the districts and addressing election meetings from a wheelchair.
The West Bengal chief minister has been mentioning at every meeting that she’s still in a lot of pain, but is still going to the rallies as she wants to be the watchdog for people against BJP.
“The CPI(M) broke my head, for which I had to be hospitalized for three months. I even underwent brain surgery. Both my hands were also broken… I wear a belt in my waist after they beat me up. My leg was the only part of the body which was intact. Now they have hurt me there as well. But they can’t stop me. Though I can’t walk, I have your legs for strength and I will fight through you,” the West Bengal chief minister said at an election rally on Friday.
Condemning Mamata’s ‘wheelchair politics’ ahead of the March 27 first phase of assembly polls, the opposition parties are saying that it’s intentional, to whip up people’s sympathy.
Union minister Babul Supriyo, BJP’s star candidate from the Tollygunge constituency, said: “If she had done real work, she needn’t have campaigned. She would have won hands down and not taken refuge in gimmickry. The sympathy-mongering is not going to help TMC. It is a huge political mistake by Mamata… Her ploy to turn an accident into a conspiracy has got busted and how.”
State Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also believes it is a ploy to win votes and show how a woman has been targeted.
“Is it a coincidence that she was hurt in Nandigram and suffered no other injury but only in the leg? It is hard to believe that there were no policemen around when she got hurt. Both Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee are capable of doing drama. I don’t believe her,” said Adhir.
Will the image of a female chief minister on wheelchair and her words have an impact on votes?
There are mixed reactions among political analysts.
Biswanath Chakraborty feels it will have an impact on voters. “The people who are thronging to hear her are feeling bad about her. They have sympathy for her and this will have an impact when they cast their votes,” said Chakraborty.
Udayan Bandopadhyay, on the other hand, feels Mamata’s image won’t result in a sympathy wave. “It is a new thing for them to see their chief minister on a wheelchair. They can see that she was hurt but she is getting better as she can travel and give speeches. This will have no connection with voting,” said Bandopadhyay.