As Maharashtra remains embroiled in a political crisis, with several rebel MLAs of the ruling Shiv Sena camping in Assam, in what seems to be a bid to topple the MVA coalition government in the state, senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Monday claimed that the TMC-led dispensation in Bengal, too, will meet a similar fate, and much before its tenure ends.
Adhikari also said that the non-BJP states of Jharkhand and Rajasthan were next in line after Maharashtra, and Bengal’s turn would come after that. His remarks drew sharp reactions from the TMC, which said that the saffron camp, frustrated over its losses in assembly polls, was making “desperate bids” to capture power.
Adhikari, addressing a rally in Cooch Behar district, said, “First, let this situation in Maharashtra be resolved. Then it will be Jharkhand and Rajasthan's turn. After that, comes West Bengal. They (TMC) will also meet the same fate (like other opposition-ruled states). This government won't last till 2026; this government will be ousted by 2024.”
Hitting out at Adhikari, the leader of the opposition in the Bengal Assembly, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the BJP, which is yet to come to terms with last year’s Assembly poll defeat, seems ready to go to any extent to seize power. "Despite a high-pitched poll campaign, the BJP lost miserably in the elections. Now, they want to capture power by hook or crook. His comments smack of saffron camp's frustration," he said.
In a similar vein, senior TMC MP and party's chief spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said Adhikari's comments clearly show that the BJP steered Maharashtra into the crisis. "The cat is now out of the bag. The comment proves how BJP is behind the political crisis in the western state. The BJP has been after every opposition-ruled state in the country. The people of this country will give them a befitting reply," he added.
Moving against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday took away portfolios of nine ministers who have jumped ship, but the dissident MLAs approached the Supreme Court, which kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings against them till July 11.
A week into the political crisis - triggered when Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, who has claimed the support of more than three dozen party MLAs, raised a banner of revolt against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government - both sides have refused to blink and appear prepared for a long fight.