The message from West Bengal in the bypoll result is loud and clear: that Mamata Banerjee is still the fiery and snorting queen, but the BJP has emerged as the prince in waiting, dethroning the Left from the second slot. The Congress is nowhere in the picture.
The message from the Kathi Dakshin Assembly constituency in West Bengal is clear: that Mamata Banerjee is still the fiery snorting queen managing to hold her firm grip over the voters in the state, but, very significantly, the BJP has emerged as the principle opponent dethroning the Left, who, along with the Congress ruled the state for over six decades.
In the coming elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party will be Trinamool Congress’ biggest competitor in West Bengal. While the TMC is managing to hold on to its electoral base, the BJP is growing pretty rapidly eating into the CPM voter base. And this should give Mamata Banerjee a headache and something to worry about.
TMC candidate Chandrima Bhattacharya has won comfortably, but BJP’s Sourindra Mohan Jana has been able to significantly increase the vote percentage of the saffron party.
Left representative Uttam Pradhan has come a very poor third signalling the end of the Communist Party Marxist in West Bengal. The tattered Left will now have to remain content with just Kerala in its pocket.
Kathi Dakshin was one of 10 constituencies which witnessed bypolls. The seat fell vacant after TMC MLA Dibyendu Adhikari was elected to the Lok Sabha last year from Tamluk constituency following a by-election last year.
What should come as good news to the TMC is that the party has managed to increase its vote share compared to its margin in 2016. This shows that the BJP has failed to eat into its the TMC’s voter base. So, what happened was that the BJP has been able to consolidate the anti-TMC votes. Voters who say the CPM as capable of fighting Mamata Banerjee and her TMC are shifting rapidly from the CPM camp to the BJP’s fold.
These voters who are opposed to the TMC now clearly see the BJP as the strongest Opposition force capable of taking on might of Mamata Banerjee.
But the BJP has a long way to go before it can unseat Mamata Banerjee’s party.
What should be remembered is that the BJP was, until very recently, just a marginal third/fourth force in West Bengal. But the BJP has managed to garner over 30 percent of the popular vote. If the BJP manages to increase this percentage in the coming years, TMC will be in for trouble. And that is surely on the plate of BJP president Amit Shah.
The result also shows clearly the complete demise of Left and Congress, the two dominant forces for nearly six decades. In fact, the Congress performance was so pathetic that it managed to marginally be ahead NOTA (None of the above) where voters are not satisfied with any of the candidates.
Rahul Gandhi can now as well forget West Bengal for sure.