Khela Over: Mamata is Didi beyond Bengal | India News
Aside from a third consecutive term, Didi, who got out of her wheelchair on the day of her win, seemed keen to improve on her impressive tally of 211 seats in 2016. This contradicted the dominant national narrative of a BJP win or shutdown. . contest, embarrass the pollsters. At the same time, he reinforced his credentials as a contender for the leadership of the upcoming anti-BJP alliance and exposed the boundaries of the BJP in geographies defined by stubborn regional identities and demographics, hampering saffron dreams of national dominance.
Banerjee was certainly not the only winner on Sunday. In Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin led DMK to victory, albeit less than expected, after a decade in opposition. In Kerala, incumbent Pinarayi Vijayan defied the revolving door pace of state politics to achieve a landslide for the CPM, a feat also highlighted by the defeat suffered by his peers in Bengal.
The BJP also made history by winning, together with its allies, an emphatic victory over a congressional-led opposition in Assam, thus becoming the only non-congressional grouping to have retained office in the state. He opened his account in Tamil Nadu and posted a decent vote share in the face of the gale blowing in favor of the CPM in Kerala.
In little Puducherry, N Rangaswamy, founder of NR Congress, achieved great personal success. He pulled the NDA, which has BJP and AIADMK as minor partners, to a comfortable victory at the expense of Congress and is ready to begin his third term as CM.
The results were marked by a slow count, perhaps due to Covid protocols. As of 11.15pm on Sunday, the EC had yet to declare 163 of 234 results in Tamil Nadu, 36 of 126 results in Assam, three of 140 in Kerala, three of 30 in Puducherry and 39 of 292 in west bengal. The slowness with which the results were reported meant that TOI was unable to process the results for the final voting quotas, although the overall trends were unlikely to change much in the final stages of the count.
Of the trends that emerged, Banerjee clearly outshined all others. It had to do, in almost equal measure, with the scale of his victory, the nature of the opposition, and the tactics he deployed. At midnight, TMC he had either won or was leading in around 215 of the 294 seats up for grabs, leaving BJP far behind at 75. The score looked even more impressive considering he posted it in the face of a fierce saffron challenge. Encouraged by their success in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the BJP surprised Banerjee by winning 18 of the 42 seats, the BJP invested enormous amounts of energy and resources in the Bengal campaign in a determined attempt to seize control of a state. which is still a challenging handful of resistance.
The prime minister led from the front, addressing large and enthusiastic crowds as he sought to surprise the state with dangling promises of “ashol poriborton (genuine change)” and “Sonar Bangla (resurgence of Bengal’s former glory).” His powerful oratory seemed to complement a grassroots effort that used the chant of Jai Shri Ram as a weapon to polarize the electorate on Banerjee’s “appeasement” of minorities and sought to capitalize on allegations of corruption and arrogance by Trinamool leaders.
However, the Trinamool boss, who paid a heavy price for underestimating Modi’s pull in LS polls, was aware of the challenge this time. She mitigated Hindutva’s accusation by flaunting her credentials as a Shandilya Brahmin who could recite the ‘Chandi Way’ and, perhaps more crucially, stoking nativist sentiments by warning the electorate against “outsiders” and unleashing “Joy Bangla” as a counterweight to Jai. . Shri Ram.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visits Kalighat Temple (photo by PTI)
The leading fighter, who burst into the limelight by confronting CPM cadres during the ‘red’ hegemony of more than three decades, also turned the foot injury she suffered into attack ammunition to punish the BJP, which was paralyzed by the lack of an organization. and a face that could remotely rival Banerjee, a weakness that helped the CM present itself as Bengal’s own daughter. The dramatic collapse of the CPM and Congress made their task easier, with anti-BJP sections merging around them.
TMC supporters in Kolkata celebrate the party’s victory in the West Bengal legislative assembly elections on Sunday
The spectacular victory has brought Banerjee into contention over who should lead the opposition to the BJP on the level of all of India. His claim seems stronger than at the time of his two previous victories. Congress appears to be in endless decline and the field, once plagued with formidable satraps, has few rivals. Unlike Stalin, Banerjee prevailed in a direct contest with the BJP, and this leaves her in a better position, with the support of the ‘liberal left’ intelligentsia that backed her due to her hostility to the BJP, acting as a multiplier of force, at least unless and until Akhilesh yadav defy the odds at UP early next year. She is also better connected and has raised her profile with her relentless opposition to the BJP.
Congratulations to Banerjee from all the BJP opponents who, uncomfortable with the strength and ambition of the saffron party, were concerned about the consequences of another satrap’s downfall for themselves. But Congress and others are unlikely to readily agree to Banerjee’s claim to primacy.
The loss in Bengal looks like an even bigger setback for BJP both for the investment it made to evict Banerjee and for the time being. The defeat, which overshadowed his success by taking his count from three to 75, comes just as the Center is struggling to contain the new wave of Covid-19, which has raised questions and drawn criticism about its handling of the pandemic. Sunday’s result raises the party’s stakes on early containment and may energize sections of the liberal intelligentsia that have increasingly been playing as fighters in the partisan arena.
It also renews questions about a strategy that builds on Modi’s appeal to prevail in territories where he doesn’t have an organization to speak of and his closet is empty of recognizable faces beyond one or two districts, a conclusion that should rejoice. satraps such as deputy CM Himanta Biswa of Assam. Sarma, former CM Vasundhara Raje from Rajasthan or, for that matter, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa. In 2019, the party benefited because Modi himself was in the fray. The advantage was lost this time.
BJP tried to overcome the weakness by bringing in leaders from Trinamool and other rivals, but the jury is out on the effectiveness of the imports and many believe it may have ended up demotivating the faithful and mitigating Trinamool’s “concern.”
It was never going to be an easy battle considering that Bengal was “difficult terrain”, given 27% Muslims in the electorate. Its emergence as the main opposition at the expense of established actors such as the left and Congress in such an adverse scenario is no small political feat. The state is likely to become a bipolar policy, at least in the short term.
The BJP can take comfort in its success in retaining office in Assam, where it dominated a seemingly formidable alliance of Congress and the Muslim group AIUDF, an impressive achievement considering its recent prominence and because Muslims make up a third of the electorate. .
The decision to stay aligned with AIADMK and prevent it from being disbanded turned out to be the right decision. The outgoing CM Edappadi Palaniswami not only defied popular wisdom to present a smart performance, but also helped the party win four seats in the Tamil Nadu assembly. In Kerala, the party may not have managed to win a seat, but held on to its share of the votes even in a landslide victory for the LDF. It is, of course, part of the ruling alliance led by the NRC in Puducherry.
The victory in Assam and the fact that Banerjee was forced to present herself as a practicing Hindu speaks to the strength of the BJP campaign themes, which will again be unleashed in Uttar Pradesh polls. While UP, with 80 seats in Lok Sabha, has always been key to the BJP’s prominence at the national level, the Bengal debacle will transform next year’s state elections into a must-see competition for the saffron side.
Congress appears to be in dire straits after painful setbacks, with the use of DMK in TN unable to mask what appears to be an inexorable slide into decline and, in the case of Bengal, irrelevance. The huge loss for the CPM-led LDF in Kerala, where it was defeated despite being on the right side of the pattern where the state favors the two turn-based contenders, represents a personal setback for Rahul Gandhi. He, rightly anticipating his defeat at the UP’s Amethi in 2019, had embraced the southern state as his political home. Deputy Wayanad participated in the selection of candidates and took charge of the campaign. At the event, Congress addressed the entire state, suffering losses even in pockets dominated by its ally, the Muslim League of the Indian Union. The surprise deals with Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF and controversial Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui accomplished little except raising questions about the party’s claim to be “secular.” The success of Deputy CM Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam and Rangaswamy in Puducherry also served as a new reminder of the leadership’s inability to accommodate resourceful regional leaders.
The ignominy in Bengal and the defeats in Kerala, Assam and Puducherry will surely heighten concerns about the effectiveness of a leadership structure in which Rahul, while professing indifference, continues to have the last word. He and his sister Priyanka were also directly involved in the Assam effort.
Congress has promised to hold elections for president, and Sunday’s results have increased the likelihood that the race will not be a symbolic exercise, especially since the Gandhis do not have the services of their main problem solver, Ahmed Patel, and also because leaders resourceful like Kamal Nath could do it. be attentive to its possibilities.
Leaders such as CM Amarinder Singh of Punjab, who has resented the leadership’s attempt to promote his tormentor Navjot Singh Sidhu, are likely to show more boldness. Indeed, weakened Gandhis may find themselves dealing with an eruption of aspirations in other states, such as Chhattisgarh, for example.
The marginalization of the CPM in Bengal despite an opportunistic alliance with an Islamic cleric at the cost of its “secularism” plan is a blow to the central leadership of the party. The victory in Kerala may have spared the party the ill-timed prospect of not taking office even in one state, but most attribute the achievement to Vijayan. The CM, which was already asserting itself, is likely to seek and gain more autonomy now. Adding to the party’s concerns, the Bengal outcome has also revealed the willingness of BJP-hating left-wing sympathizers to change their allegiance if they find that comrades are not up to the Hindutva challenge.