Mamata Banerjee defeated Narendra Modi led BJP’s high voltage campaign in West Bengal by getting around 214 seats out of 294. In 2016, Trinamool Congress had 211 MLAs and no one expected Trinamool Congress (TMC) will get such huge seats in its kitty. BJP which had leads in 121 assembly seats in the Lok Sabha 2019 election by getting 18 MPs from West Bengal was limited to 76 assembly seats this time. In general no one thought BJP’s tally will go below 100 seats and many thought BJP will cross 150 seats easily, considering the huge crowd in the rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Cross-voting the core reason for BJP loss in Bengal?
It is a fact that the Muslims who comprise more than 30% of the state’s population voted to TMC en masse to prevent the victory of BJP in West Bengal. Interestingly, the Congress-Left alliance which bagged 76 seats in the previous assembly election could not get even a single seat this time and it is a general assumption that Congress, as well as the Left cadre, voted TMC to block BJP’s victory. BJP must have spent around Rs.3,000 crore in West Bengal and it is a known fact that many workers were brought in from the neighbouring states including Delhi. BJP managed to wean several TMC leaders over for the past one year but Mamata’s personal stature is what counted in the end. It was a Mamata Banerjee show all the way as she alone defeated the mighty machinery of the BJP, including the Election Commission’s curious choice of holding the elections in eight phases.
In these five-states-election results, the standout winner is Mamata Banerjee who effectively checked the Narendra Modi-led BJP’s election-winning juggernaut.
Vijayan’s resounding win
Another resounding victory is by the Left Front in Kerala which retained power, demolishing the Congress front. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his office were facing all kinds of charges of sleaze, corruption and even gold smuggling controversies for the past one year. But Congress front lost the election and managed only 41 seats in the 140 member assembly. Thus after 40 years, a ruling party retains power in Kerala. The BJP, which expected 2-3 seats, ended up with zero this time around. Even a man of Dr E Sreedharan’s stature was found to be not worthy; it goes to show that a state that boasts a literacy of 100 per cent still votes emotionally.
AIADMK needs to re-group
In Tamil Nadu, it was almost known to all that DMK led by M K Stalin will win as AIADMK was enervated after its supremo Jayalalithaa’s death in 2016. DMK and allies bagged 160 seats out of 234. AIADMK’s ally BJP managed to win four seats. In Puducherry, BJP’s ally NRC (N Rangaswami Congress) victory was certain as the Congress party was withering away in this tiny state for the past decade.
Assam reposes its faith again in the BJP
As widely expected, in Assam, BJP retained power. BJP and allies bagged 75 seats out of 126. Though Congress managed a grand alliance with the Left and pro-Islamic party AIDUF, the Assam electorate preferred BJP by giving more seats this time.
Cross-voting a concern
In these five-states-election results, the standout winner is Mamata Banerjee who effectively checked the Narendra Modi-led BJP’s election-winning juggernaut. From 2017 onwards, West Bengal was BJP’s laboratory under the direct charge of Amit Shah, and the results showed as BJP surged in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. But that surge got sabotaged by Mamata Banerjee in the Assembly election 2021. Cross voting the new normal? Indian voters must reflect.
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