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Elections in West Bengal: Why it is an absolute majority or nothing for the BJP | India News


NEW DELHI: The BJP would have to win the West Bengal assembly elections with an absolute majority if it is to seize power from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Otherwise, it might have to sit in the opposition even if it emerges as the largest party in case the ongoing elections throw up a hung assembly.
There are three scenarios in West Bengal. Either the TMC or the BJP win the elections by absolute majority or there is an assembly hanging.
The formation of a government would be fluid if either party crossed the magic number of 147 in the assembly of 294 members. The TMC would not have much trouble forming a government if it becomes the largest party in a hung assembly.
In the case of a hanging mount, the TMC is much better positioned than the BJP. Mamata can win the support of Congress and the parties of the left. The congressional deputy Lok Sabha and the state president, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, have already spoken in this regard.
“Politics is the art of the possible,” Chowdhury said on April 7, citing the famous German leader of the 19th-century Bismarck, when asked if Congress would support Mamata if his party did not reach a majority in the elections to the assembly.
However, the BJP is not in the same advantageous position as the TMC when it comes to forging a post-election alliance in West Bengal. It is very likely that neither Congress nor left-wing parties will come forward to extend their support for the BJP.
The situation in West Bengal would be similar to the scenario that had emerged after the results of the 2018 Karnataka assembly elections were announced. The elections, which were held in 222 seats, produced a hung assembly.
With 104, the BJP won the highest number of seats, followed by Congress (78) and JD (S) 37.
Although the governor invited BS Yediyurappa to form a government, he failed to obtain a majority on the floor of the chamber, as neither the Congress nor the JD (S) pledged to support him.
Later, HD Kumaraswamy of JD (S) formed the government with the support of Congress.
A similar scenario had emerged at the national level in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. In a hung parliament, the BJP was the largest party with 161 seats, while the Congress followed with 140 seats.
Atal Bijhari Vajpayee of the BJP formed the government. However, failing to gain the support of the majority, he resigned before facing the floor test.
The BJP in West Bengal may face a similar problem if it fails to win the majority.
Starting from scratch, the party has slowly managed to emerge as the main opposition in the state by replacing both the CPI (M) and the Congress that had ruled the state until Mamata’s TMC defeated the left in 2011 and retained power in 2016.
In the 2016 West Bengal assembly elections, the BJP had won just three seats, while the TMC won 211. The ruling left and Congress, which had also fought as alliance partners at the time, won 76 seats. Congress won 44 seats, CPI (M) 26, RSP 3, Forward Block 2, and the CPI 1 seat.
The BJP dramatically improved its tally in the 2019 parliamentary elections. Out of the total 42 seats in Lok Sabha, the BJP won 18, while the TMC 22 and Congress took the remaining 2.
If the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are translated into assembly segments, the BJP led in 121 of the 294 assembly segments, while the TMC in 164 and Congress in 9 segments.
By 2014, the TMC had won a whopping 34 seats, while the BJP and the Left Front had managed to secure just 2 seats each. Congress had won 4 seats.
The BJP has come a long way since 2014. Their hopes of forming a government may come to fruition if they win an absolute majority. However, a hung assembly may put an end to your dreams of coming to power in the eastern state for the first time.

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