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West Bengal assembly poll results: Message and the mathematics
I am staying in West Bengal since the last phase of Assembly elections till date due to some professional compulsions. As a habit and due to my passion towards political developments, I used to ask people about Mamata Banerjee's impact in Bengal polity. In the process I met people from various corners of Bengal.

Almost everyone unanimously told me that the Left rule was really a rule of fear. People at least feel secure in Mamata Banerjee's tenure. Not that TMC workers were not involved in violent politics, but, their violence was targeted against their political rivals especially the left party workers (they call them goons). Common people felt safer under TMC's political protection. Thus Saradha or Narada had no impact on TMC because people's immediate priority in the State is not corruption rather safety of self and their family.

However, I sticked to my calculation that BJP's performance will decide the fate of assembly result. I explained it in my article 'Who will win Bengal - An analysis' published here on 6th April 2016. Same thing I reiterated in my article, 'Assembly Polls 2016: There is a question mark over predictions of various exit polls' dated 17th May 2016.

The BJP definitely gave an impressive performance in the assembly elections, but, not to the extent of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But, then Mamata won a landslide mandate with more than 46 per cent vote share while routing the Left front.

Then I suddenly realised my mistake of believing in electoral alliance mathematics. In fact before Bihar elections, I had explained many times that electoral mathematics doesn't work if two parties with contradictory ideology and character form an alliance. Such alliance is never additive rather subtractive. People are not slaves. If a party goes for an absurd alliance, people won't follow the political mathematics.

The tremendous success of JD(U)-RJD alliance in fact forced me to amend my understanding that such mathematics too works. Good thing is that Bengal poll results again made me to realise that such absurd coalition may be successful in one of the cases considering it a miracle, but, it couldn't be called a sure shot success.

Left front harped on Bihar model and thought that it would be additive. But, it became counterproductive for the senior alliance member i.e. the Left front. Left's loyal votes transferred to the Congress whereas Congress' loyal votes switched to the TMC. The Congress is now second largest party in Bengal assembly with 44 seats.

The failure of the Bihar model that was tried in Bengal will now infuse fear among regional satraps of UP polity. Neither SP nor BSP will dare to align with the Congress fearing that the alliance might be subtractive than additive. There is every chance that the Congress may remain politically untouchable for coming times. This is definitely good news for the BJP in the wake of upcoming UP assembly polls.

However, here's a word of caution for Mamata Banerjee. It will be good if she consolidate herself in Bengal and achieve a stature as tall as Jyoti Basu. She should remember that Bengal voted for her not her party i.e. TMC. (Mamata Banerjee after sting scams urged people to vote for her saying it is she who will be standing in all 294 seats). There is no doubt that people see Mamata as a clean politician. Now the responsibility of maintaining this public trust is on her. She needs to take action against tainted leaders and ensure that her clean image remains taint free.

Secondly, she needs to have an working relation with the central government because without proper support from the Centre, Bengal can't be developed. She need not to ally with the BJP government, but, definitely she can follow a give and take policy, which is mutually beneficial to each other.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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