Why Mamata romped to power in Bengal for third consecutive time

West Bengal has reposed religion in her daughter Mamata Banerjee, aka Didi, for the third time in a row. ‘Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chaye (Bengal wants its own daughter)’, which turned the Trinamool Congress (TMC) battle cry in the meeting election, clicked with the individuals of the state—throughout neighborhood, caste and creed—who voted overwhelmingly for Mamata and her celebration. The outcomes tally on May 2 stated all of it—214 of 292 meeting seats for the TMC (Elections in two seats had been withheld following the dying of candidates.) The BJP, which had mounted a mighty problem and claimed that it could win over 200 seats, completed a distant second with 74 seats, whereas the Samyukta Morcha (Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front) may get just one seat.

Steering the combat in opposition to the BJP virtually single-handedly, Mamata, wheelchair-bound after a leg harm suffered on March 10 whereas campaigning, pulled off a spectacular victory. The BJP’s highly effective electioneering equipment was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union house minister Amit Shah and included 109 nationwide leaders, who chopper-hopped throughout Bengal, holding over 200 rallies and shut to 100 roadshows. The celebration’s social media cell saved attacking Mamata on a spread of points, attempting to nook her over her alleged appeasement and caste politics. But it’s clear that the BJP’s aggressive makes an attempt to polarise the citizens alongside faith, caste and even sub-caste had been rejected by voters—Hindus, Muslims, ladies, youth, first-time voters, and even a few of the Left and Congress supporters who voted for Didi.

Modi had predicted that Didi’s sport was up (‘Khela Sesh’), however it was Mamata’s ‘Khela Hobe (The game is on)’ name that discovered resonance among the many individuals and derailed the BJP’s ‘Ebar Bangla (Now Bengal)’ undertaking. “With one foot, I will kick the BJP out of the field. With one foot, I will win Bengal, and with both feet I will win Delhi,” a assured Mamata had been telling the viewers at her rallies.

Speaking after her emphatic win on May 2, Mamata stated the decision had bolstered her internal energy and perception (in individuals’s judgement). She stated the TMC victory had large implications for the nation. “Bengal has saved the people of India. This was Bengal’s victory. I am so happy. I never expected the results to be so. My mothers and sisters, minority voters have showered it all on me,” an emotional Mamata stated.

It had certainly been powerful. In the run-up to the election, a number of of Mamata’s trusted lieutenants and shut aides had defected to the BJP, together with heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari who defeated Mamata from Nandigram with a slim margin. Many others left the TMC over being denied tickets. But Mamata stood her floor. Labelling the defectors as traitors, she maintained that celebration staff—and never leaders—had been her actual belongings. And she certainly had a grip on the heart beat of the individuals. For, the TMC cornered over 48 per cent of the votes, an enchancment of 4 share factors from the 2016 election. The BJP secured round 37 per cent votes, a large bounce from the ten per cent in 2016. It was the Left-Congress mix’s vote share of 32 per cent in 2016 that was decimated—a portion of it went to the BJP and a minimum of 4 per cent to Mamata. “The Left radicals had been going up and about with the slogan that the BJP is a bigger devil than the Trinamool, and it seems to have percolated down to the Left sympathisers and voters. The bigger issue was to stop the BJP for the moment, and that they have done,” says social scientist Prasanta Ray, professor emeritus, Presidency University.

The BJP’s polarisation narrative didn’t lower ice with the voters. Muslims voted en bloc for Mamata although the Left-Congress’s tie-up with influential cleric Abbas Siddiqui’s ISF had prompted a flutter, what with its sturdy marketing campaign in the Muslim-dominated districts of North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas. “For them (Muslims), the bigger threat was the BJP and its Hindutva agenda. Muslims were scared that bringing in the BJP could mean they would be driven out of Bengal through the NRC (National Register of Citizens). So, instead of wasting votes on the Left, Congress or any other party, they all the more rallied behind Mamata,” feels political analyst Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, a former professor at Calcutta University.

Mamata not solely retained her sway over South Bengal, which had stood behind her even when she misplaced 12 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 basic election, she additionally swept Murshidabad and Malda, which have a excessive focus of Muslims. These two districts have historically been Congress bastions. Apart from this, the BJP misplaced in the areas it had gained in 2019. These embody the tribal belts of West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia. In West Midnapore, the TMC gained 14 of 15 seats and all 4 in Jhargram. In Bankura and Purulia, it made a major breach into BJP strongholds.

Mamata gained for a lot of causes. One of the star points of interest of the TMC was the Mamata authorities’s social welfare largesse, estimated to be price Rs 12,000 crore a yr, which incorporates free ration, stipend for increased schooling of women, free bicycles for college students, funds for marriage of women, pensions for widows and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and free medical insurance. Though the BJP went to city in opposition to the TMC with allegations of corruption, ‘cut-money’ (fee to facilitate supply of doles) and delay and nepotism in supply of social advantages, these appeared to have paled in entrance of Mamata’s dole politics.

In a state of 100 million individuals, Didi has created a robust base of an estimated 80 million beneficiaries. For the poor, decrease center class and subaltern voters, her social welfare schemes had been income-generating. They received meals at a extremely subsidised charge of Rs 2 a kilo and free ration in the course of the Covid lockdown final yr. While the BJP promised ‘ashol poriborton (real change)’ and ‘double-engine government’, many felt it was untested waters and caught to Mamata, who stated at rallies that bringing her again would imply the continuance of her welfare schemes. “Every household (according to the TMC) is thought to have become richer by at least Rs 12,000 a year, which obviously played a major role in bringing back Mamata,” says Ray.

For many among the many higher center class, the prosperous, the educated and the younger technology, who could have been unpleasant with issues that occurred underneath Mamata’s rule, the BJP and its polarisation drive tended to pose a much bigger menace to the social, cultural and secular material of the state. For the 30 per cent Muslim voters, Mamata was the final word refuge and a bankable anchor in opposition to the BJP’s propaganda of NRC, CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and unlawful settlers from Bangladesh. And lastly for the ladies, who comprise virtually 50 per cent of the citizens, she was a logo of energy. The BJP’s distasteful assaults on Mamata endeared Didi much more to the ladies and strengthened her ‘lone warrior’ picture.

Moreover, Mamata’s rhetoric about Bengal’s asmita—she had repeatedly asserted that Bengal can be dominated by Bengal and never Gujarat—and the BJP being a menace to the state’s tradition and ethos additionally labored. The BJP’s Hindutva marketing campaign was dubbed by Mamata because the import of a ‘Hindi heartland party’. She sought to current a extra inclusive idea of Hinduism by invoking the likes of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda. No matter how onerous the BJP tried to imbibe Bangaliyana, the individuals of Bengal rooted for their daughter and her indomitable spirit.

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