In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won 18 seats from earlier 2 and Mamata’s TMC got only 22. BJP came very close to TMC in vote sharing. Mamata Banerjee’s TMC successfully saw off the incumbency as the party won 211 seats bettering its 2011 assembly elections tally of 184.
TMC also registered a vote share of 44.91 per cent in 2016. After coming to power in 2014 at the Centre, the BJP aimed at spreading its footmark beyond the Hindi belt with its pure Hindutva agenda. Assam, Tripura, Northeastern states, Bengal, Odisha, and Kerala became crucial for the ruling party at the Centre and in 2019 they were very close to TMC.
Until 2019 TMC had many big leaders, like Suvendu Adhikari, Dinesh Trivedi, and Mukul Roy who were known as the strength of TMC, now switched their sides to BJP. Their muscle power also came to BJP along with them thus reducing booth capturing chances by TMC gone extremely down and also increased BJP’s chances to defend booths multifold times.
These leaders also brought workers, followers, and traditional voters with them. Thus, adding hugely to BJP’s votes in reducing that of TMC. West Bengal has a strong presence of women electorates as the female voters account for 49 per cent out of the total population that is eligible to exercise their franchise, according to data disclosed by the Election Commission ahead of the much-awaited polls.
BJP’s star campaigner Amit Shah left no stone unturned by making special mention to women voters.
Sudipto Das, an artist of Ravindra Bharti said, “As long as BJP talks about diligently doing its job and ensure that Core Hindu voters who are fed up with TMC, INC and the Left turn up to the polling booths and cast their votes then it is going to be Saffron Flag flying high in Bangla. Yes, there are 57 seats in Bengal which has over 40 per cent Muslim population but Bengalis are looking for a real change after the failed promise of Paribartan by Mamata in 2011 which should also see counter polarization of Hindu votes in favor of BJP.”
Mamata’s constant Muslim appeasement has created anger among Hindu voters and BJP’s Jai Shree Ram chants have conjured the vote possibility for them. There were many propagandas against Mamata refusing of Maa Durga Visarjan during Muharram, pictures of Muslim’s offering Namaz, stopping Chhath Puja citing Corona while allowing the gathering of Muslims. So-called atrocities on Hindus taking part in Durga Visarjan, pension to Imams, building a grand Haj house and so on.
“BJP designed its campaign very well and they moved strategically. Owaisi factor is another winning factor for the BJP, his mere presence will consolidate Hindu votes towards BJP. And no nationalist Hindu is going to vote for him. So, he can’t take even a single vote from BJP. On the contrary, he will bring more votes for them. Some Hindus who are at the moment on the TMC side will vote for BJP and Muslim votes would be divided,” said Abhishekh Bhattacharya an IT professional.
Dipanjan Ghosh, an entrepreneur from Kolkata told us, “According to me there will be a good fight between the political parties, but I think Mamata Banerjee–led TMC will win the West Bengal assembly election.”
When asked what’s his take on the BJP, Ghosh said, “BJP has done nothing as of now, there could be a tough fight but there are very few chances of BJP to mark their name in West Bengal. No matter what people say but as per my prediction, there will be a coalition government coming up here. Let’s hope for the best and see what happens next.”