From Khela Hobe To Khela Shesh, Didi Has The Last Laugh With A Resounding Victory!
Finally, the election season gets over with all 4-states and solitary union territory verdict is out. The most sought-after West Bengal yet again goes to Trinamool Congress as from Khela Hobe to Khela Shesh, it’s finally Didi who has the last laugh with a resounding win.
Mamata Banerjee has decimated its mighty opposition single-handedly with a thumping majority. Despite a star-studded aggressive campaign led by arguably the biggest political brand, PM Narendra Modi, Bhartiya Janata Party could only become a distant number two in the state.
West Bengal result has yet again raised huge question mark on almost all the psephologists, none of whom were able to gauge the pulse of the voters at all. They must introspect honestly if they are really following the principles of research analysis or just following the tutored orders of their political masters.
Coming back to the West Bengal state results, let’s try to list down the possible reasons that could have contributed to the landslide victory of Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee.
“Maa Maati Maanush” – The Bangla Pride
People of Bengal are extremely emotional and sentimental about the local pride inherited in their rich historical culture, literature and ethos. The state definitely has its own challenge in political violence & killings, crime against women, infiltration among few, yet the Bangla pride supersedes everything.
The personalized attack against the biggest icon of Bangla pride, Mamata Banerjee who epitomizes the Maa Maati Maanush ideology, came down heavily on the challenger Bhartiya Janata Party. Almost all the star campaigners including PM Narendra Modi (coined Didi-O-Didi) couldn’t gauge the under-current against the personal verbal spat hurled at Didi that resulted in persisting the mistake rallies after rallies. This might have propelled few dissident voters to go back to Mamata’ camp at the last moment and resulted in the shift in voting % towards TMC. (Also Read: Didi O Didi Why Is TMC Baffled?)
Khela Hobe worked for Mamata Banerjee big time and counter Khela Shesh back-fired for Narendra Modi.
It was evident from the onset that Bhartiya Janata Party was playing on Hindutva agenda trying to polarize the voters and project Mamata Banerjee as anti-Hindu. As a counter-measure, Didi started reciting ‘Chandi-Path’ and ‘Durga Stuti’ from her rally podiums that might have neutralized the efforts of Hindu votes consolidation for the BJP. (Also Read: Is PM Modi Visiting Orakandi Temple Violation of MCC?)
On the other hand, the parachute-dropped Assaduddin Owaisi and AIMIM was absolutely non-existent in the vote share implying no division of Muslim votes. With a bipolar contest, the minority vote consolidation ensured an upper hand for TMC throughout the constituencies where the Muslims played the deciding factor.
Lame Ducks – Left & Congress
West Bengal Election had four national parties in the contest – TMC, BJP, Left and Congress. However, the later two were out of the contest even before the first vote was cast. Left and Congress hardly worked at the booth level, had negligible rallies and roadshows. In fact, Rahul Gandhi held his couple of rallies when almost half the elections were over. As a result, the core voters of these two historical stalwart parties had to chose between BJP or TMC.
This could be termed as abject surrender by some but a masterstroke by Congress & left think-tank and followers. With no visible campaigning by these two parties, the division of anti-BJP voters didn’t happen which led to its derailed performance.
Corruption Accused New Recruits
While this may be dismissed by many experts and staunch BJP supporters, the last-minute recruitment into the Bhartiya Janata Party from Trinamool Congress might have played against the party. More so because while they were with TMC, BJP only accused them of multiple corruption charges. In fact, there were several videos going around the social media as a proof apparently by the BJP IT cells. The induction of tainted leaders and fast-track their assembly tickets not only confused the voters; it might have also led to severe undercurrent in the long-term working cadre base of the BJP.
The move gave TMC another opportunity to play the emotional card. Mamata Banerjee left no stone unturned to blame the once loyalists and confidante turned dissidents of cheating her and the people of Bengal.
Anger against Central Government Policies
There is certainly a growing sentiment against the Central leadership inability to handle critical situations efficiently with multiple instances in recent past – souring unemployment, rising prices, economic crisis, farmers protest & mismanagement of on-going 2nd wave of Covid-19 to name the few. The high-headedness of the leadership might have added fuel to it which mobilized the voters against BJP. (Also Read: the Ostrich Syndrome Know Why Is It Dangerous?)
A large section of BJP supporters was demanding to cancel the rallies amid rising active cases of Covid-19 on social media platforms. The party however not only overlooked but the troll brigade came into action with personalized attacks. People across are dying not just of Covid-19 but also oxygen and medicine shortages, the health ministry and railway ministry are involved in projecting surpluses and thanking PM for pro-active handling. Vaccination drive is aggressively underway with a small aberration – no vaccines available.
For a long time, Indian liberals and anti-Modi brigade were looking for alternatives. Momentarily they saw it in Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal and now with this thumping victory, the aspiration of a joint front led by Mamata Banerjee in 2024 will only gain momentum in the time to come. The congratulatory messages across party lines especially from Congress leaders are a small indication. It’s a different matter, the oldest party of India is extinct as far as West Bengal is concerned.
For next 5 years in West Bengal, it will be Khela Hobe between TMC and BJP and for Left & Congress, its Khela Shesh. Hopefully, it won’t be a violent one though.
In pursuit of speaking my mind out – chose to write blogs on interesting topics to present my perspective.