Union Home Minister Amit Shah greets his supporters during a roadshow in Bolpur on 20 December. | Photo: ANI
Union Home Minister Amit Shah greets his supporters during a roadshow in Bolpur on 20 December. | Photo: ANI

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s two-day visit to West Bengal, ahead of next year’s assembly elections, dominated the prime time debates Sunday.

NDTV 24×7, however, discussed the fears over a new mutation of the coronavirus which the UK government has called “out of control”. As European countries banned flights to the UK, anchor Vishnu Som discussed the situation at ground zero, and asked if India would also ban flights to Britain.

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Sanjeev Krishna, a professor at St George’s University in London, said, “The situation is fast changing. We need more information about the mutation. Despite several measures in UK, there has been a spurt in Covid cases.”

Vidisha Madan, a student at King’s College in London, said, “Many of my Indian friends were planning to go back home. But now their plans have been affected.”

On CNN-News18, Pallavi Ghosh debated #BattleforBengal and asked if ‘Poriborton is on the cards in 2021 with Amit Shah storming the state.

Speaking about the defections in Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, BJP spokesperson Guru Prakash said, “TMC leaders also want to fulfill their political aspiration. Mamata Banerjee has only been promoting her nephew (Abhishek Banerjee).”

Asked if the exit of Suvendu Adhikari was a blow to the TMC, Jayanta Ghoshal, advisor to the West Bengal government, said, “There are a lot of discontent in all parties… Mamata Banerjee is going to nominate new persons and is studying anti-incumbency of the MLAs. So Suvendu Adhikari could not take any other MLA from his own area… One should not underestimate Mamata Banerjee. She is a street fighter and a very smart politician.”

Anchor Anjana Om Kashyap also discussed Amit Shah’s “high voltage” visit to West Bengal on Aaj Tak. “Shah is leading the election campaign from the forefront after BJP president J.P. Nadda tested positive for Covid,” noted Kashyap.

Asked if the BJP is trying to destabilise the Mamata government just ahead of polls, BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain said his party is not like the Congress that will rest throughout the year and get into election campaign just two days before.

“The question to be asked is why no opposition party leader is safe in Mamata Banerjee’s rule in West Bengal. We are only fighting in a democratic manner,” he said.

TMC leader Shakir Ali defended his party chief. “Mamata Banerjee is that lioness who raises her voice against the ruling government’s wrong decisions. This is being done to take revenge from her,” Ali said.

Zee News asked if the Mamata Banerjee government’s days are numbered in Bengal.

Anchor Aditi Tyagi said, “Amit Shah today has taken away the slogan of ‘Maa, Maati, Maanush’ from Mamata Banerjee. He went to Kali Maa’s temple, ate with farmers while sitting on land (maati), and has taken away 10 people (manush) from TMC and included in his own party.”

But TMC’s Binay Singh called Shah’s mega rally a “flop”. “They claimed to have people in lakhs but the truth is that the ground can only have 25,000 people. Whoever were present there were not local people but were outsiders,” claimed Singh.

BJP spokesperson Zafar Islam said Mamata Banerjee’s pillars of strength are going down one by one. “Amit Shah is right when he says that by the time election is here, she would be contesting the election only by herself,” he said.

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