KOLKATA: The injury suffered by Mamata Banerjee, known as a street-fighter who was a firebrand opposition leader during Left Front regime, may have an impact on the Assembly polls.
Mamata rarely misses an opportunity to recall her movements during the Left regime and mention how she was beaten up by CPI(M) cadres on several occasions.
Her announcement to return to political activities on a wheelchair is likely to rekindle that ‘fighter’ image again.
“Although in the video she did not hold anyone responsible, her appearance in a campaign rally on a wheelchair with one leg in a cast will deliver a different narrative. It will portray her determination to resist the rise of a communal force,” said a senior TMC leader. TMC leaders feel the sight of a wounded Mamata attending election rallies will send a message.
“Voters not committed to a particular political party will welcome her presence in public rallies will be moved by what they see. This is likely to help us bag electoral dividends,’’ said the TMC leader.
Mamata has a tight schedule, with rallies lined up in the Junglemahal region from Saturday. This area goes to polls in the first phase on March 27. Sources said that Mamata is keen to follow the same schedule with her fractured leg.
Willingly or unwillingly, Mamata in her opposition days generally gained from her appearances in public when she was not well. On one hand, it gave the impression that here was a leader unafraid of the unlawful ways embraced by her rivals.
On the other, the public also got an impression that here was a true leader, who thinks more about larger goals than herself. Sources in TMC said the party supremo knows she is the only face of the party. Individual candidates matter little in the TMC’s scheme of politics.
“This is why she keeps urging electorates to vote for our candidates considering her as the contestant in all 294 constituencies. We are waiting for the people’s roaring welcome when she, for the first time, appears on the stage on a wheelchair with a plastered foot,’’ said another TMC leader, who didn’t want to go on record.
Meanwhile, reports of the tests conducted on the 66-year-old Trinamool Congress supremo were satisfactory and she is responding to treatment.
"But the X-Ray done on her left leg showed a degenerative joint disease. We are treating that," a senior doctor at the state-run SSKM Hospital said.
Degenerative joint disease is a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down.
Banerjee has severe bony injuries in her left ankle and foot, besides injuries in her right shoulder, forearm and neck, the doctor said.
X-Ray was also done on her shoulders, injured ankle and legs.
Doctors also did a CT scan on her neck while a USG was performed on her abdomen.
She also has low sodium concentration in the blood and was given medication to cure it.
"The swelling on her left ankle has subsided. Overall her condition has improved slightly," he said adding that the CM was given light food.
Asked when Banerjee could be discharged from the hospital, he said that the team of six doctors treating her would assess her health condition on Friday morning and make a decision.
Sources in the hospital said that doctors are planning to conduct another series of medical tests on Friday morning.
(With PTI Inputs)