Local women interact with a local politician in Sandeshkhali. Photo: Joydeep Sarkar

By Joydeep Sarkar

Sandeshkhali: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Rekha Patra, who led the protests at Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24-Parganas against now-suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates, from the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency.

Predictably, Sandeshkhali has emerged as a pivotal political issue in West Bengal for the upcoming general election. What began as protests against allegations of sexual assault by local women against local TMC leaders have now transformed into a symbolic representation of broader anxieties surrounding corruption and safety in the state.

The ongoing issue has not only placed the Mamata Banerjee government on the defensive but laid bare vulnerabilities within the TMC regime.

As religious politics over Sandeshkhali led by BJP takes centre stage, the locals are now confronted with an unexpected twist in their daily lives. The entire landscape, stretching from the jetty onward, now bears the presence of saffron flags, marking a visible shift in the prevailing political narrative.

This story was originally published in thewire.in. Read the full story here.