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Trinamool’s national ambitions come unstuck after drubbing in Goa, Tripura



Soon after assuming charge as the Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary following the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and party MP Abhishek Banerjee said that henceforth his party will target expansion in those states where it will have the chance to form the government or be an extremely strong opposition.

He added that henceforth the party’s focus will not be on just getting a couple of MLAs in a couple of states outside West Bengal.

Since then, Abhishek Banerjee has tried to achieve this thrice — the assembly elections in Goa, municipal elections in Tripura and the latest in the by-polls in Tripura. In the Goa assembly elections the Trinamool Congress was unable to open its account. In the Tripura civic elections, it failed to emerge as the major opposition party. In the Tripura by-polls the Trinamool Congress candidates finished in the fourth position in all the four assembly constituencies with their deposits forfeited. In two constituencies the votes secured by the party candidates did not cross the 1,000-mark.

In this backdrop two questions arise. The first is how far the Trinamool Congress will be able to expand its base outside West Bengal in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls? The second is how far Mamata Banerjee can become a key player in deciding matters in the ruling or opposition coalition, depending on the results, after 2024?

According to Trinamool Congress spokesman Kunal Ghosh, the latest by-poll results in Tripura cannot be taken as an indicator for the future considering that the party contested without much groundwork. Secondly, according to him, the Lok Sabha polls are always different from the assembly or civic polls, with bigger national issues.

“Since our chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already established herself as the face of a relentless movement against the Union government’s anti-people policies, no anti-BJP force would be able to undermine her in 2024,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari has said that it would be better for Mamata Banerjee to concentrate on saving her chief minister’s chair rather than trying to be a key player in the ruling coalition after the 2024 polls.

“The game has begun with Maharashtra. We will reach West Bengal via Rajasthan and Jharkhand in 2023,” he said.

Political observers feel that there is a remote chance that Mamata Banerjee or the Trinamool Congress would be able to get established as key national players be it in the ruling coalition or in the opposition front.

According to political observer Rajagopal Dhar Chakraborty, Abhishek Banerjee’s announcement that his party will target expansion in those states where they will have a chance to emerge as the ruling party or an extremely strong opposition, was an over ambitious one.

“Trinamool Congress earlier managed to get MLAs in Tripura and later in Meghalaya. However, none of these MLAs were elected as Trinamool Congress candidates. They were just turncoat MLAs from the Congress or other regional parties, who at the first opportunity deserted the Trinamool.

“But when it came to contesting in states outside West Bengal, the results for the Trinamool have been pathetic. That is because the Trinamool Congress contested those elections without prolonged groundwork just depending on vote strategist Prashant Kishor and his organization I-PAC. No vote strategist can do wonders for any political party in any state unless that party has a sufficient and strong organizational network of its own in that state,” he said.

Secondly, he added, considering the Trinamool Congress’s pathetic performance in states outside West Bengal, it is unlikely that regional parties there will allow space to the Trinamool in any seat sharing agreement, however close their official relationship with Mamata Banerjee might be.

Political analyst Santanu Sanyal feels that before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress will be so busy in its own turf of West Bengal that it will hardly have any opportunity to concentrate on other states.

“The Trinamool Congress leadership including the chief minister knows quite well that their importance in national politics, be it be as a part of the ruling coalition or the opposition front, will depend on how well the party can perform in West Bengal. So, in my opinion, in the 2024 polls the Trinamool Congress’ concentration will be solely on West Bengal and not on other states,” he said.

National News

The poet who first called for complete independence, coined ‘Inquilab Zindabad’




 Syed Fazal-ul-Hasan, popularly known as Hasrat Mohani was born in 1875 in Mohan, a town in Unnao district of the United Provinces of British India. He proposed complete independence for the first time before the Congress in 1921. He also proposed the abolition of foreign goods, the idea which Gandhiji later developed into a movement.

Hasrat was his pen name under which he wrote Urdu poetry and his last name ‘Mohani’ refers to his birthplace Mohan. Hasrat Mohani received his initial education at home and earned his BA degree from Aligarh in 1903.

In 1904, Hasrat Mohani joined Indian National Congress and joined the national movement. In 1905, he also took part in the Swadeshi Tehreek run by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

He was an active participant in the Khilafat movement of 1919. In 1921, he coined the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad”, and went on to participated in the Ahmedabad session of the Congress in the same year. The phrase “Inquilab Zindabad” was later popularised by Bhagat Singh.

Professor Ajay Tiwari, who retired from Delhi University, said: “Hasrat Mohani had proposed complete independence for the first time in the Congress in 1921, which was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi. The two were friends but there was also an ideological conflict between them. When Mahatma Gandhi started the Khaddar (Khadi) movement, Mohani opposed it. He believed that the indigenous industry would be ruined and the workers would be punished.”

When Mohani proposed to boycott foreign goods, Gandhiji eventually accepted the idea and 10 years later, the Swadeshi movement began. Gandhi mentioned this in his autobiography that due to Mohani’s insistence, he was “compelled”. He wrote: “I was compelled to include the non-cooperation movement in the Swadeshi movement.”

It is said about Hasrat Mohani that, when he went to study in Aligarh, he did not wear the kind of pajamas people there popularly wore, he used to wear a normal kurta and carried a paan daan with him and wrote poetry. The orthodox people of Aligarh were annoyed by his dressing and the way he walked.

Mohani came out with a newspaper (Urdu-e-Mualla) that he used for furthering the cause of freedom. This angered the British who imposed a fine of Rs. 3,000.

When Mohani got his property assessed to pay the fine, his possessions summed up to a value of 50 Rupees. Because of this he went to jail. After being released from jail, he kept writing against the British and was imprisoned repeatedly.

Hasrat Mohani opposed fundamentalists, irrespective of their religion. He was secular and such people were few in the freedom movement. While living in Aligarh, he opposed the ideas of Sir Syed. This was no minor thing.

When the Constituent Assembly of India was formed in 1946, he was elected as a member from the state of Uttar Pradesh. He opposed the partition of India in 1947 and preferred to stay in India.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani died on 13 May 1951 in Lucknow.

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National News

AAP emerging as possible headache for both BJP, Cong in MP




 The Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, to be held next year, are expected to be very interesting as there is a possibility of a close contest between the two major parties, the BJP and the Congress.

However, it is the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which could be worrisome for both the parties.

There has always been a possibility of the BJP’s vote share getting shifted towards other political parties in the state. In the previous Assembly polls as well, candidates of the Gondwana Party, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janshakti Party and Ajay Bharat Party have won.

But eventually, the strength of these third parties weakened. However, it is the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP which is now considered as a new player in Madhya Pradesh, after it made a splash in the urban local body polls.

In Singrauli Municipal Corporation, AAP’s mayor and 40 councillors were elected, which, in terms of numbers, may be small but has helped the party mark its emergence in the state.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, 114 candidates of the Congress were elected, while 109 BJP candidates won. However, the Congress government lasted for only a year and a half, due to the defection of MLAs, after which, the BJP returned to power.

In the urban body elections, the Congress got 5 mayors while the BJP had nine, which points towards Madhya Pradesh witnessing one of its most interesting Assembly polls in 2023.

The AAP has also started preparing for the election. It is currently doing volunteer mapping and is trying to have volunteers in every village.

Presently, the AAP’s emphasis is on proper organisation at the grassroots level, after which it will increase its political activities rapidly. Currently, the party is also excited about its big initial success in the urban body elections.

Senior AAP leader Akshay Hunka said that his party will fight the upcoming Assembly elections with full preparation and strength.

Political analysts believe that the entry of the AAP into the electoral fray will prove to be troublesome for both the BJP and the Congress, as there will be dissatisfaction among both the parties and the number of rebels will be more than in the last elections.

These rebels from both the parties could be fielded as AAP candidates which could be worrisome for both the Congress and the BJP.

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Mohan Bhagwat, RSS, Sangh leaders put Tricolour as DP on social media accounts




Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, Sangh leaders and RSS have removed the display picture of their official social media accounts and replaced it with Tricolour.

The RSS on Saturday shared a 48 second video on its official Twitter account in which Bhagwat and other Sangh officials can be seen hoisting Tricolour on different occasions.

The move comes in the wake of questions being posed by Congress and other opposition leaders to RSS in context of the Tricolour.

On the occasion of 75th anniversary of the Independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to all countrymen to change their DP on social media and put Tricolour on it.

In line with the Prime Minister’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, the RSS has also urged the people to awaken self-respect and tweeted,” Celebrate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Hoist the Tricolor in every house. Awaken the national self-respect.”

Making a big issue out of the appeal of the prime minister, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said, “Har Ghar Tiranga campaign is being run by those, who (RSS) didn’t hoist Tricolour for 52 years.”

“They could not stop Congress from fighting for the freedom of the country, and they will not be able to stop it today too,” the Wayanad MP said.

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