The West Bengal assembly elections of 2021 are one of the most awaited ones. After the COVID vaccine, one thing that is being most eagerly awaited is the game of thrones in Bengal. The elections are going to be remembered in history as the most awaited elections of all time. What makes them so different?
It is not every day that a direct tussle is seen between a party winning 3 seats and a party winning 211 seats in the just previous elections. Today, the BJP leaders confidently predict that the BJP will win more than 200 of the total West Bengal assembly seats.
In fact, the BJP did win 18 West Bengal Lok Sabha seats in 2019 and secured an impressive 40.64% of votes.
If one looks at district wise assembly seats in West Bengal, there are a number of districts which are dominated by minority community and play a decisive role in the outcome.
Who would have dreamt that a right-wing party would be able to creep in so fast in a pre-dominantly left dominated state! Who would have imagined that the red colored state would be painted saffron in such a smooth way?
What makes the pollsters think that Bengal would slip from Mamata’s hands?
There was a time that such was the stronghold of Mamata Banerjee in Bengal that she was considered a strong face against Prime Minister Modi in the next Lok Sabha elections. And today, the scenario is such that even her Chief Ministerial seat is precarious. The reasons are many.
The West Bengal assembly election 2021 opinion poll are yet to take off, but initial trends show a distinct edge for the BJP.
There is high anti-incumbency against Mamata Banerjee, who is ruling the state for the last 10 years. Her autocratic style of functioning is one reason for the anger against her. Be it allegations of minority appeasement or the use of violence to silence opposition, Mamata would not mend her ways. The history of violence in during Bengal assembly elections is not new. Since the time of CM Siddharth Shankar Ray, a well-known aid of Indira Gandhi, the left in Bengal suffered violence at the hands of Congress party.
When the Left came to power in Bengal, people hoped that the picture would change. But the same story continued with TMC being at the receiving end of violence this time. The circle of violence continued with TMC using the same violent tactics. The convoy of BJP President JP Nadda being targeted is no small event. Such a security lapse with a person enjoying Z-security can not be carried out without political backing. People in Bengal are tired of this culture of political violence.
The growing clout of Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata’s nephew, is another cause of resentment among the TMC workers which is working at the advantage of BJP. Many top leaders are leaving Mamata’s side to join BJP. The list includes Suvendu Adhikary, Jitendra Tiwari, Shilbhadra Dutta and Mihir Goswami. Common hatred against the political strategist, Prashant Kishor is another factor behind most of the exits in TMC.
What makes the position of BJP strong?
There is high anti-incumbency against TMC and no viable alternative other than BJP at present. The Left and the Congress are in no good position to contest TMC. BJP on the other hand has insider support from the Left and all other parties who want Mamata to lose.
With the rise of AIMIM as seen in Bihar, even the minority votes which TMC banks on are expected to get divided. AIMIM is therefore touted as team-B of BJP, as its vote-cutting aide.
BJP also has a emotional card to appeal to regional sentiments. The roots of BJP were founded by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, who is originally from Bengal.
The promise of bringing Bengal in line with central ‘Vikas’ is another ray of hope for the people of Bengal distressed with underdevelopment and unemployment.
What BJP now needs is a strong face for Chief Ministerial position who can challenge the charisma of Bengal’s didi.
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