BJP to Defeat Mamata Banerjee in 2021 Assembly Election?
Since 2011, when Trinamool Congress formed government in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee for the first time finds herself on a shaky ground. Until 2019, the state of West Bengal was completely untouched by the BJP. Even at height of Modi wave in 2014, BJP had managed to win 2 Lok Sabha seats out of 42. In 2019 things changed, BJP rose from 2 to 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state while TMC’s tally was reduced from 34 in 2014 to 22 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.
In 2019 Lok Sabha election, it was the last phase of election that saved TMC. In last phase 9 seats of Basirhat, Diamond Harbour, Joynagar, Jadavpur, Mathurapur, Kolkata Uttar, Kolkata Dakshin, Barasat and Dum Dum went into polls. BJP won none from these 9 seats. However, it is interesting to note that BJP was ahead of TMC in first 6 phases. BJP won 18 seats while TMC had won only 13 seats in first six phases. It must be noted that BJP was at distant third position in all the 9 seats of last phase in 2014 but in 2019 with almost double the votes BJP was placed at second position in all the seats.
2021 Assembly election in Bengal is few months away, Didi has been facing lots of criticism with her handling of Coronavirus situation in state. To add to her miseries, Cyclone Amphan hit the state. Her mismanagement of state during tragedy has again been the talk of the town. 10 years of anti-incumbency with utter disappointment among the leaders is hurting the party badly.
BJP has been able to make impact in Bengal politics since 2018 Panchayat election. Widespread violence and the poll rigging by the ruling TMC led to the massive gain of voters by BJP in the state. In a state where 34% of the rural seats was won by the ruling TMC uncontested, BJP for the first time made huge inroads in the state. Mamata Banerjee’s strategy of opposition free state back-fired. BJP was able to consolidate voters behind itself. The violence unearthed by the ruling TMC proved a blessing in disguise for the underdogs BJP in the state. BJP, which was nowhere in political scene of West Bengal came second in the state. The result was enough to send warning signals to Mamata Banerjee. The rise of BJP in the state was reality.
Mamata Banerjee’s government is set to face growing middle class dissatisfaction. In 2011, TMC was widely supported by these middle class voters who wanted to free themselves from the clutches of 34 years of Left rule. However, almost 9 years since then, the middle class can feel the return of same syndicate raj, failure of law and order, lack of jobs, lack of development hitting the state. These middle class section stood strongly behind BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha election and as per current situation they are expected to stand behind BJP once again in 2021 assembly election.
In 2019 Lok Sabha election, BJP polled 40.25 percent of votes while TMC managed a vote share of 43.28 percent. In terms of assembly segments, BJP was ahead in 129 of 294 assembly seats of the state, while TMC was ahead in 158 assembly segments. One must not forget that at the time of Lok Sabha 2019 election, 8 assembly seats of Bengal went in for polls. BJP won 4 while TMC won 3 and Congress managed to win 1 assembly seat. If BJP is able to keep its Lok Sabha vote share intact and by taking advantage of current situation of state increase its vote share by few more percentage points, West Bengal assembly election 2021 will be an end of road for TMC and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.