‘Khela Hobe’, the slogan that worked wonders for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the recently-held assembly elections has been conferred an official status. Banerjee, who is in her third straight term as chief minister, announced on Tuesday that the slogan will have a day dedicated to it.
“People have appreciated ‘Khela Hobe‘, so we will have ‘Khela Hobe Diwas'”, Banerjee said in the Assembly.
The state assembly election in the state held in April-May was one of the most bitterly-fought elections with the BJP and Trinamool engaging in bitter spats. Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Khela Hobe‘ (Game On) rent the air as elections peaked. Banerjee finally emerged victorious, clinching 211 seats in the 294-member assembly. The BJP won 74 seats.
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The slogan, Khela hobe, became very popular as pop songs based on it were played at rallies and large hoardings were put up all over West Bengal. The opposition parties also came up with their counter slogans with Prime Minister Narendra Modi coining the term ‘Khela shesh’ (Game over) to keep the fight interesting. But Didi’s ‘Khela Hobe’ had the last laugh.
While ‘Khela Hobe’ was her war cry, Mamata Banerjee also coined ‘Khela hobe, dekha hobe, jeta hobe’ (we will play, watch and win). To counter the BJP slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, the Chief Minister’s party coined the slogan, ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Ram; Vida of BJP ka naam’ (Hare Krishna, Hare Ram; farewell to the BJP).
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After storming to power, Mamata Banerjee reached out to the party leaders who had jumped over to the BJP in the run up to the elections and managed a reverse exodus of kinds. Among those who returned was senior leader Mukul Roy. Calling him “ghorer chele (family member)”, Mamata Banerjee said, “BJP is not a party that any sane people can continue in. They intimidate and threaten people to join their party.”
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The assembly win has also propelled the 66-year-old leader into the big league of leaders who managed to halt the Modi rath. Her national stature received a boost as she is emerging as a rallying point for an anti-BJP front.