Thursday, January 28, 2021
Home Editor's picks Elections in West Bengal tend to be violent and one-sided, but here is why...

Elections in West Bengal tend to be violent and one-sided, but here is why Modi magic might work in Mamata’s bastion

While BJP is rising, TMC is still significantly stronger. However, the BJP has a fair chance of giving a fight in 25-26 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming elections.

In the Panchayat polls in West Bengal which were held in May last year, we had seen how the old Maoist bastions and tribal areas had turned towards the BJP. While the TMC has scored a resounding 85% of the overall seats, the BJP has made significant inroads in certain areas.

Not only in Purulia and Jhargram, but BJP had also surged in other areas like Bankura, Dakshin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur, Birbhum, Paschim Medinipur, Malda, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts. However, the panchayat polls were marred by widespread reports of violence, murder and even capturing of ballot boxes. Soon after, three of TMC’s ministers ‘resigned‘.

BJP has made significant inroads in West Bengal and is quite likely to give a tough fight to the Trinamool Congress party in the upcoming 2019 general elections, says Pradip Bhandari, CEO and founder, Jan Ki Baat.

“BJP will do much better than what it had done in 2014. In 2007-08 when the TMC started to rise in WB and the Left started to decline, the TMC had got a majority of its seats on the eastern side of West Bengal, from the areas surrounding the Bangladesh border. The TMC started to rise from those areas and that’s how it engulfed the entire state,” Bhandari explains.

“In 2014 the TMC had won the majority of Lok Sabha seats. In 2016 it had won the state assembly elections. However, between 2014 to 2018, the Left and Congress state units have seen a significant and disproportionate decline, the BJP got a vacuum to fill and it capitalised on the same,” he adds. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, out of the 42 seats, the TMC won 34 seats while Congress got only 4. The BJP and CPI(Marxist) got 2 seats each. In 2016 West Bengal state assembly elections, the TMC got 211 out of a total 295 seats while the BJP got 6 seats, an increase of 3 seats as compared to the previous term.

Bhandari says that the BJP is focusing on the western and northern part of Bengal, of areas like Purulia, Jhargram, Alipuduar and Cooch Behar. These pockets are expected to prove favourable for the BJP.

“These are the seats from which the TMC won for the first time in 2014 which was earlier considered a bastion of the Left. The anti-TMC voters have drifted away from the Left and Congress towards the BJP. Hence, BJP has a good chance of getting seats in these pockets,” he says.

Elaborating on why the BJP has emerged as the main opposition party, Bhandari adds, “There are three reasons. First is that there is a fight between hope and fear in Bengal. The Hindus in West Bengal fear that the atrocities carried out by TMC in the last few years are way more than the ones carried out by the Left when it was in power. There is also something like ‘goondagardi tax’ which is implicitly charged on the local population by the TMC cadre.

“Secondly, there are three significant communities which are coming together for the BJP. The fight is between the TMC votes and who is consolidating the anti-TMC votes. The tribals, the Matuas and the non-Bengali Marwari community will play a major role. The non-Bengali Marwari community in the urban areas seem to be supporting the BJP. About 90% of them are with the BJP. The tribals in areas like Jhargram and Adipurduar, about 70-80% have shown signs of leaning towards the BJP. Similarly, the Matua community, which forms a significant population in the eastern part of Bengal are disillusioned by the TMC.”

“Thirdly, it is widely believed that the strength of the TMC is the Muslim population and if numbers are to be believed, about 99% of the population will vote for the TMC. Because of the Muslim appeasement, the Hindus in a lot of places have started feeling a sense of alienation. The polarisation is happening in seats where there is 30-35% Muslim population. The BJP is here consolidating the Hindu population.”

But is the Modi factor still relevant in West Bengal? It is the icing on the cake he says. “Panchayat elections have shown signs of decline for the TMC. People were not allowed to vote and there is a sense of ‘revenge’ if I may say so. People who went to vote were beaten up, not allowed to vote. Hence, while on the outside they may appear like TMC supporters, in reality, they may just vote for the BJP,” explains Bhandari.

While BJP may not be the leading party in West Bengal and the TMC still has a significant upper hand, Bhandari believes that the BJP will definitely be a player in about 25-26 seats. Even if the BJP ends up with 7 seats, it will be on the growth trajectory which TMC was when it had started off. This will mean that the BJP will also be a serious challenger in the state assembly elections.

The elections in West Bengal have a tendency to get violent. In July 2018, a BJP worker’s body was found floating with limbs tied. This was preceded by at least two similar incidents. Almost exactly a month prior to this incident, Trilochan Mahato and Dulal Kumar, both BJP karyakarta’s, were found in two villages of Purulia on May 31 and June 2. While Mahato’s body was hanging from a tree, that of Kumar was hanging from a high tension electric pole.

West Bengal, under Mamta Banerjee rule, harbouring extreme coercion and strong-arm tactics. TMC goons openly terrorize the public without fearing any sought of repercussions. In fact, the West Bengal Panchayat polls were marked by incidents of extreme violence, in which some people were killed and several others were injured. In Murshidabad town, ballot papers were thrown in a pond after a clash between TMC and opposition parties. In some booths in Murshidabad, ballot boxes were looted at gunpoint by unidentified people. BJP supporters were also assaulted and attacked by TMC goons.

“It is now or never for the BJP in Bengal. Things are in their favour, like the disenchanted Hindu population, Muslim appeasement of the TMC, denial of basic services in north and west and the Narendra Modi factor. However, all the analysis will fail if voters are not even allowed to step out and vote. Elections in Bengal tend to get a little violent and hence perception is also important. If BJP comes across as a ‘weak’ party, it may not work for them. It is important for the BJP to not only be strong but to also be perceived as a strong party,” Bhandari explains.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

 

Related Articles

Trending now

Post-mortem of protestor killed during tractor rally confirms he died of antemortem injuries, busts left-liberal propaganda of being shot

Left-liberals had tried to blame Delhi Police for the death, spreading the fake news that the protestor was shot dead by Police.

‘Tiranga ka apman, nehi sahega Hindustan’: Angry villages in Rewari issue ultimatum to ‘farmer’ protestors to vacate Highway blockade in 24 hours

The villagers said that due to blockade on the highway, the region remains jammed with vehicles, which have created difficulties for them

Farmer bodies withdraw their support from ‘farmer’ protest, blame Rakesh Tikait for violence on Republic Day

AIKSCC's VM Singh said he does not want to be part of protests led by Rakesh Tikait.

Red Fort attack: Dear ‘liberals’, here is how a little understanding of physics can help you

The underlying message of holding a parallel parade on Republic Day was always clear. They wanted to showcase a parallel power center on the streets, a republic of mob rule.

The mayhem on Republic Day was planned by these ‘farmer leaders’. Here is how they are lying

From Yogendra Yadav to Rakesh Tikait to Darshan Pal: How the 'farmer leaders' egged the 'farmers' to run a riot on Republic Day

Red Fort Insurrection: Deep Sidhu, his Khalistani links, role in violence and how ‘liberals’, who made him a hero, are now using him to...

Opposition leaders who had supported Deep Sidhu saying it is a farmer are now alleging he is linked to BJP

Recently Popular

Tractor rally: Rioting mob vandalised Ram Mandir and Kedarnath tableaux from Republic Day parade

Rioting mob on Tuesday not only desecrated the Red Fort and tried to kill the Delhi Police personnel but also vandalised the tableau from the Republic Day parade.

Rajdeep Sardesai lies twice, says ‘farmer’ was killed because the police shot him in the head: Here is the truth

In this way, those who had shared the fake news once would live under the false impression that it was indeed a case of police firing.

‘Flag of Khalistan is waving on Red Fort,’ ‘Historic Moment’: All Pakistan Muslim League celebrates “Black Day” for India

The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) is celebrating the hoisting of the 'Khalistan Flag' at Red Fort on Republic Day.

Conspiracy theorist Subramanian Swamy floats a new theory, toes ‘liberals’ line to claim Red Fort siege was a PMO plot

Subramanian Swamy has furthered the left propaganda that Red Fort siege was carried out at the behest of the PMO

‘Tiranga ka apman, nehi sahega Hindustan’: Angry villages in Rewari issue ultimatum to ‘farmer’ protestors to vacate Highway blockade in 24 hours

The villagers said that due to blockade on the highway, the region remains jammed with vehicles, which have created difficulties for them

Here is how Congress and trolls tried to paint a Khalistani accused of spearheading the Red Fort siege as a ‘sanghi’

Deep Sidhu is accused of being responsible for the hoisting of the Sikh flag at Red Fort on Republic Day.
- Advertisement -

 

US-based ‘Human Rights Lawyer’ Arjun Sethi gives a call to oust the Modi government, spreads falsehoods on farmer protests

A chronic PM Modi hater, Arjun Sethi has ceaselessly whined over the Citizenship Amendment Act since its passage in December 2019

‘Not taking the vaccine is a bigger laughing matter’, doctor responds after video of him scolded by wife during live broadcast goes viral

A video of Dr KK Agarwal getting berated by his wife for getting vaccinated alone is doing the rounds on the internet

Watch: Elderly man tries to cross protest site to see doctor, protesting ‘farmers’ issue him life threat

The elderly man said that he was trying to cross the protest site as he had an appointment with a doctor at Panth Hospital

Reflections on Republic Day insurrection: The government’s dilemma, a blast from the past and ghost of Operation Blue Star

Tractor Rally Protesters stormed the national capital and eventually managed to breach the premises of the Red Fort on Republic Day.

Robert Vadra posts distorted map of India on social media, shows PoK and Aksai Chin not part of India

Robert Vadra used a distorted map of India on Twitter and Instagram while demanding probe for Republic Day violence in Delhi

Post-mortem of protestor killed during tractor rally confirms he died of antemortem injuries, busts left-liberal propaganda of being shot

Left-liberals had tried to blame Delhi Police for the death, spreading the fake news that the protestor was shot dead by Police.

Farmer protests: Twitter suspends 550 accounts for inciting violence, abuse, and threats

Delhi Police had claimed that hundreds of Twitter accounts were created to sow confusion about the tractor rally proposed by the 'farmers'.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh blames Delhi Police for Republic Day violence by ‘farmer’ protestors

While it was already known that barricades will be removed after Republic Day parade is over, Digvijay Singh blamed police barricades for riots

‘You cannot hurt religious sentiments’: SC rejects anticipatory bail pleas of ‘Tandav’ makers

"Freedom of speech was not absolute. You cannot hurt anyone's religious sentiments", Supreme Court of India said to makers of 'Tandav'.

Banned Khalistani outfit SFJ confesses to their hand in Red Fort attack, announces reward for laying siege on Indian Parliament on February 1

Khalistani terror organisation SFJ has announced a reward of $350,000 for those who wave Khalistani flags at the Parliament

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
23,000SubscribersSubscribe