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23rd May 2019: When the future of Bengal politics was changed forever

The rise of BJP in Bengal is also a testament to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity as well as his stature as a national leader.

The trends are in for all the seats in West Bengal. And thus far, at the time of writing this report, the BJP had a vote share of around 38%. Thus, the impending saffron surge in the land of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo is finally upon us.

Whatever the ultimate result may be, one thing is for certain, going into the 2021 Assembly Elections in the state, for the first time in history, West Bengal will have a party of saffron hue as the primary opposition. The Left is currently leading at zero seats and it’s extremely unlikely it will be able to open its account, Congress, too, is unlikely to beyond it’s currently leading in.

The results will have profound consequences for the future of Bengal politics. We will definitely see religious polarization in the state. There was considerable Hindu consolidation in favour of the BJP to counter the Muslim consolidation behind the TMC. Going forward, the polarization is likely to only exacerbate.

Not too long ago, Mamata Banerjee was harbouring dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of the country. Now, her own state is under siege. A jump from 2 to even 15 for the BJP in five years is a huge achievement. And that was despite the blatant efforts at rigging elections by the TMC.

Another noticeable trend is the fact that the Left votes have shifted completely to the BJP. It only goes on to show that people, primarily Hindus, who voted for the Left on the ground are extremely conscious of their Hindu identity. And it is in stark contrast to the sentiments of the top communist leaders.

The addition of Bengal to the list of states where Hindutva is a mainstream political force has profound implications for the future of Hindutva itself. Also, it’s important to note that BJP’s rise has been primarily backed by the Hindu youth in the state and this youth is greatly inspired by Narendra Modi. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the inroads BJP has made will evaporate anytime soon.

The rise of BJP in Bengal is also a testament to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity as well as his stature as a national leader. It’s a testament to Amit Shah’s organizational skills as well. And in this moment of victory, the numerous sacrifices made by the Karyakartas on the ground ought to be borne in mind as well. Because at the end of the day, it is the ordinary Karyakarta on the ground who implements the grand plans of the top leadership.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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