Has Amphan finally signalled the end of Mamata regime?
8 districts were affected by Amphan – South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, North 24 Parganas, West Midnapore, Howrah, Hooghly, East Burdwan and Kolkata. A week after Cyclone hit Bengal, some parts of Bengal are still missing electricity, water, internet, fallen trees and cable links. Not just that
- 86 people were killed,
- More than 10 lakh homes were damaged leaving some 4-5 million homeless
- Large number of residential properties were damaged imposing a significant cost of reconstruction
- With increased salinity, agriculture is likely to be affected in the above mentioned districts
- Total damage is estimated at 1 lakh crores.
This crisis is happening in the middle of COVID-19 where resources are a major constraint. Whether it is cyclone relief or even funding. When Andhra was hit by Hudhud in 2014, it was fortunate that economy was in good shape enabling both the Centre and States to fund a quick recovery. At the moment both the State and Central Governments are broke making the recovery double difficult.
How did TMC perform in these 8 districts in 2019
In Bardhaman East, TMC won by 6%,
TMC won Howrah by 8%
Hooghly Was won by BJP
Medinipur was won by BJP
There are 8 other seats in and around Kolkata that were all won by TMC, 2 of them by less than 10%, rest by more than 10%
Conservatively, one can say that some 28 Assembly seats have become highly vulnerable for TMC. This is an estimate as no surveys have been done till now. BJP won about 120 ACs in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, 28 more seats will take them to a majority.
No doubt that there would be a lot of negative perceptions amongst voters about Mamata Banerjee and should these feelings continue until next May, she is sure to lose the 2021 election.
Why this may not lead to a defeat for Mamata?
As the latest CRISIL report suggests, it is going to take sometime before the Indian economy recovers. How this will play out against the BJP is difficult to predict at the moment. This is the final card in the Mamata game. If the BJP handles the economy well in the next 12 months, game over for Mamata.