Mamata Banerjee-baiters could spot a stain on her honesty following the arrest of close aide and transport minister Madan Mitra in the multi-crore Saradha scandal and they believe this blot will bring her down.
“When she tied up with the Congress and swept to power in 2011, she was at the zenith of her career. Within three years, she reached the lowest point. Her personal image of impeccable honesty is gone,” said Congress leader Abdul Mannan.
Fighting the BJP in a state that had been the party’s weakest link until last year, the West Bengal CM Saturday packed the streets of Kolkata with Trinamool Congress supporters and poured scorn on PM Narendra Modi — a move her rivals described as a desperate fight with her back to the wall.
Mamata by any yardstick was facing the worst point of her political career after riding to power on a massive anti-Left wave in May 2011. She even stormed the so-called Modi wave in this summer’s Lok Sabha poll, winning 34 seats.
But this winter’s cold wave, generated by the CBI heat on her aides, could be her biggest test.
“The popularity of the party is dented. She now has the CBI on her trail,” Mannan said.
The strain she was facing from BJP’s forays into Bengal could be gauged from her offer in Delhi last month to the Congress and the Left to close ranks for a united fight against communalism, read the saffron party.
But the Congress and the CPM see an opportunity in the current situation to get back at her. “Mamata Banerjee should immediately resign,” said Congress state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
CPM politburo member Surya Kant Mishra said the CBI should interrogate Mamata. “If they find a reason, arrest her.”