Hazare’s support strengthens Mamata, but not without its share of troubles

mamtaKOLKATA: While Anna Hazare’s accolades and support has added to the political strength to so far ignored Federal Front of Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the national level, but it has also put her in an odd political situation.
If Anna Hazare has openly claimed her to be the “only fittest prime ministerial candidate for change in India, with 100 LS seats,’’ willy-nilly he has made Banerjee’s political choice for the post more challenging “as a `changed Banerjee’ might find it difficult as she did not create yet a second line of leadership within the party,’’ said a political analyst here.
“Or she would support a puppet as prime minister whom she can dictate,’’ he told this reporter. But while Mamata Banerjee created quite a stir in her home state after Hazare agreed to join, observers here also doubt if her Federal Front gets propelled by Anna wind, she would have similar problems in her state again without a second line of leadership.
Though in Durgapur recently she assured a huge gathering of party cardres that she “wouldn’t leave behind Bengal,’’ her and Hazare’s briefings have again left enough hints that she would be either open for talks with any political post-election options, which may not be excluding BJP-led NDA as she never answered in clear terms if she would reject any gesture from that political formation.
However, while she passed on the responsibility of choosing candidates for her party in Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Delhi on Hazare, her ambitious plans for other “states, like UP, Tripura, Assam and Northeast may not sound very viable without a real base for her party in these states,’’ said a top State Congress leaders.
But all however agreed that Hazare’s open support and nod to campaign for her during the run up to poll have eroded anti-Mamata feeling which of late slowly gripped a section of middle-class in Bengal “which often felt betrayed by her dictatorial ways and intolerance for media freedom.’’
If Hazare’s support changes the wind in her favour among the disenchanted middle-class in Bengal, then her immediate political rivals has reasons to fear her more.
“For rural Bengal isn’t a problem for her, but if Hazare wind changes the elite in urban areas in her favour,’’ then it would be a real positive change with real intrinsic value, feel top leader both in right and left camps.

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