The Minorities and Mahila mixture has driven Mamata Banerjee to cross the halfway mark. Muslims account for more than 35 per cent of the population and influence the outcome of 95 seats out of 294. However, Mamata lost a most crucial fight in Bengal’s Nandigram seat to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, her former right-hand man.
Mamata joins the league of Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik and Arvind Kejriwal who have humbled Modi. Amit Shah and Modi invested a lot of political capital in the state leading the campaign and this result is a setback of sorts for the duo. The two jointly held 51 rallies/road shows covering all districts of the state.
Nandigram is the town that catapulted Mamata Banerjee to power for the first time in 2011 and winning here serves as a big message to aides – mainly Mr Adhikari — who ditched her this time to cross over to the BJP.
The results for the West Bengal assembly elections are trickling in and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) looks all set to retain power despite battling 10 years of anti-incumbency, a Hindu awakening and lower caste consolidation in favour of the BJP. The exit polls have again gone wrong (after Bihar last year) as most of them predicted a close contest and failed to pick this wave in favour of Mamata.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “This win was expected and inspiring. One lady single-handedly gave a tough fight to BJP is no joke. She proved her capacities and shrunk the nasty political perspectives in one go”.
BJP’s over-reliance on Modi damaged the party’s prospects. It didn’t have candidates for all seats and gave tickets to 130 turncoats from other parties relying mainly on the top leadership’s campaign. Modi’s new getup as Rabindranath Tagore has not gone well with Bengal voters. Above all his cheap style of campaign and constant personal attacks boomeranged on him.
BJP failed to deflate the insider versus outsider campaign of the TMC, especially in the urban and semi-urban seats. The Bengali Asmita factor worked for the TMC. The rising cases of coronavirus in Bengal and Mamata’s accusation that the BJP is responsible for the same clicked with the urban audience which was impacted.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal among others sent out congratulatory messages for Mamata on social media. Following up, Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Congratulations to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, @MamataOfficial Didi on her party’s victory in West Bengal assembly elections. My best wishes to her for her next tenure.”
Dipanjan Ghosh, Afternoon Voice’s West Bengal correspondent said, “Hats off to this great woman. She fought all sorts of relentless personal attacks on her and her party and still emerged victorious. For Modi, Amit shah Bengal defeat will wrinkle for a long time to come. Unless BJP develops good local leaders and works for the people’s welfare in states where it’s weak, they will continue to lose assembly elections. Even today for the Lok Sabha elections people will vote for Modi. Modi must understand attacking women in a personal way will not be liked by the electorate of this country.”