It might be a unique sight in Indian politics to see a politician campaign from a wheelchair, but astute political observers had predicted it much before it had happened.
Mamata Banerjee today hit the campaign trail on a wheelchair. A special ramp was created at her for her rally, and she sought to play up the fact that she was campaigning from a wheelchair. “I assure that I’ll campaign on a wheel chair with a broken leg. Khela Hobe. A wounded tiger is the most dangerous animal,” ANI quoted her as saying in her speech.
A wheelchair-bound politician isn’t something you see everyday, but BJP leader Tajinder Singh Bagga had predicted it hours after the alleged “attack” on Mamata Banerjee. “PK told his team to buy all commercial hoardings in West Bengal and use Didi Hospital pics in Posters to create sympathy,” he’d tweeted on the night of the attack itself. “PK knows Didi is loosing so this is his last trick. He also told Didi to use wheel chair to create more sympathy in Public,” he’d said. He’d hinted that the entire wheelchair stunt might’ve been planned by her campaign strategist Prashant Kishore.
Sure enough, four days later Mamata Banerjee is out in West Bengal, campaigning on a wheelchair. Bagga’s tweet had come around 36 hours before the first time Mamata Banerjee was photographed in a wheelchair on her discharge from hospital, and nearly four days before she hit the campaign trail on a wheelchair.
This isn’t the only time when Mamata Banerjee’s latest actions seem — literally — straight out of a movie script. Three days ago, Tajinder Bagga had also shared a clip from a Bengali movie, in which a politician plans an attack on himself which would be covered by all media channels, and would eventually ask people for votes on a wheelchair to gain their sympathy. “Excellent idea,” the man’s aide says in the movie.
There have also been other startling discrepancies with Mamata Banerjee’s supposed leg injury. When she’d been photographed in hospital on 11th March, her leg had appeared to be covered in thick plaster.
However, merely a day later, when she’d been discharged from hospital, she had appeared to only have crepe bandage on her leg. This had led some to speculate how a plaster, which is usually kept on for weeks, was removed in just a day.
Incredibly, the plaster seems to be back again on 14th March. When she’d been discharged from hospital, her leg was comfortably hanging down the sides of the wheelchair, but when she was pictured today, her leg was stiff and raised, as though it’s covered in plaster.
Interestingly, immediately after the incident Mamata Banerjee had said that she’d been attacked by 4-5 men, and the same allegations had been repeated by her party members. The West Bengal police, had meanwhile said that Nandigram incident was an accident, and not an attack. This has been confirmed by the Election Commission, which had today ruled out the possibility that the incident was an attack.