Some of the local news channels are starting to broadcast innovative opinion poll results for the West Bengal polls that will surely interest one and all. While it was hard to believe till even two months ago that TMC led by incumbent CM Mamata Banerjee will not have a cakewalk in the state assembly elections, now after all phases of polls, tables seem to have turned almost 180 degrees. The people of Bengal are already opening up to accept that not just TMC will fall short of its previous figure of 2011 elections, or the comparative number of seats one would give it in lieu of the 2014 lok sabha polls, but some people won’t hesitate in saying that TMC is going to be badly short of the half way majority figure this time around.
The major changes assumed to occur is not because of BJP or PM Modi or the clCentral government but it is because of the strong and resilient performance of the Jot or alliance between Left parties and the Indian National Congress.
Yes, the alliance is on a roll as north Bengal, parts of south Bengal and most of Kolkata thinks that TMC will get a drubbing from this unusual alliance.
While some believe the alliance will round up close to 140 seats, some are even enthusiastic about the alliance getting in excess of 160 seats. Either way, the TMC sets to lose a huge amount of ground in this election and it has only itself to blame for that.
If some opinion polls are to be believed then Mamata Banerjee’s party will not cross the 120 mark while some give it a paltry 95 to 100 seats. It would be a humiliating defeat for the present CM and her party if these predictions come true. The five year TMC rule has seen tremendous anti incumbency, which started well after two years of the government being formed. From Sarada chit fund scam to the recent Narada cash bribery sting operation exposing key members of the TMC caught on camera.
The timing of the collapse of part of the Vivekananda Road flyover is also supposedly stated by a few people to be divine justice that happened barely five days before the first phase of elections were to take place in the state. This collapse of the under construction bridge nailed the well known but unofficial reality of the ugly syndicates run by the ruling party MLAs or their close confidantes in the state.
While news papers have revealed the syndicates run by Trinamool leaders and MLAs but it was not a matter that was considered important or an issue that could dethrone the Lady who coined the “Maa maati manush” slogan in 2011.
The flyover collapse, and the way the opposition leaders latched onto the opportunity to blame Mamata Banerjee, coupled with media reports nailing the hand of local syndicates run by the sitting MLA and detailing how poor material was the root cause of the tragedy, just snatched away any defense that Mamata Banerjee could desperately clutch on to. The syndicates of the ruling party in the state which came up during TMC rule had become a nuisance for the urban and semi rural areas but no one had the guts to voice or expose these illegal activities.
Another major point was the rising goonda gardi or hooliganism by the goons supported by the MLAs of the ruling party. The number of such cases would shock anyone. The five-year misrule of TMC has been a paradise for goons and a nightmare for the common, gentle folk or bhodro lok of the state.
Opposition leaders and workers being beaten up, government workers and labourers being harassed and common people getting to feel the irresponsible nature of the CM who turned a blind eye to all the mischief and illegal activities happening under her nose by her party cadre was something the voters would have surely remembered when they got the power to vote after five long years.
The plight of tea garden workers and jute industry workers was clearly not a priority for the Chief Minister who was busy inaugurating parks and cultural festivals, and painting everything in sight in blue and white (her favourite colours apparently). Also the crippled rice cultivation, one of the largest crops in the state also saw the CM turn a blind eye to. It was for the first time in decades that the state saw alarming dip in rice production which was a terrible shock to everyone. People who had voted for Mamata Banerjee wanted “poriborton” or change but all they could get was disappointment and shock, rising crime, and an incapable and whimsical CM who was busy selling her paintings, renaming metro stations and districts and making absurd statements least expected from an elected CM of a democratic government.
The major or the biggest reason for the likely ousting of TMC from power would be the coming together of the odd couple i.e. INC and Left parties that could not only clinch close seats but also limit TMC’s victory by snatching some votes of the BJP that even though nonexistent in the state managed to get 17% vote share in the Lok Sabha polls despite getting only two seats.
In 2011, the TMC got the benefit of having an alliance with the INC. This is also missing now and the advantage is for the CPI(M) who is now having the alliance with the INC. The tenure of the TMC government has seen no new industry in the state while some reputed IT companies postponed or put on hold their investments.
The amount of unprecedented post poll violence witnessed in most parts of the state is also a clear signal that the incumbent government has accepted that its days are limited and it is on its way out. Killings of opposition workers, bombs found in houses of TMC cadres, beating up of innocent people – all happened owing to the frustration of the state government that realized that despite its efforts to disrupt peaceful polls and ensure a victory, it may run well short of the half way mark.
It all came down together for the TMC – misgovernance, Sarada chit fund scam, Narada sting, syndicate expose, CPM-Congress alliance, flyover collapse, poor law and order situation, hooliganism of TMC cadre, insensitive and irresponsible statements by the CM and her party leaders, shocking increase in crimes against women, etc. If these reasons are not great enough to cause defeat of a poor government, then nothing is. Also it could well be the second victory (after Bihar) of an alliance that was constructed under the guidance of Congress VP Rahul Gandhi to resurrect the party after the dismal Lok Sabha electoral performance in 2014. All fingers are crossed as people eagerly wait for the 19th May when results of the elections would become known.