“It was a conspiracy. Our bus driver was bribed to make us late,” claimed Madhusudhan Mahato, trying to explain why Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath’s rally in Purulia district on March 16 attracted a small crowd. ”We therefore reached after the rally got over.”
Mahato is a Bharatiya Janata Party worker in Sindri village that falls under the Balarampur Assembly constituency of Purulia in West Bengal. His tragicomic explanation for why Adityanath’s Balarampur rally saw low attendance however is not his only complaint while fighting what he sees as a formidable opponent: the Trinamool. “We don’t have money to do wall painting, feed people who come for campaigning,” he said. “That is why it looks as if we are not strong in this area.”
Sindri is representative of a dynamic across the Jungle Mahal region of West Bengal, which spans the current-day districts of Jhargram, Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura in the south-western part of the state….