From 50% in 2006 to 40% in 2011 to 26% in 2016 to only about 6% in 2021. That’s the story of the Left’s plummeting vote share in West Bengal’s meeting elections over time. In the outcomes declared on Sunday, the Left drew a clean, going through an entire rout within the state that it dominated for 34 years (1977-2011).
That the Left, which received 32 of the state’s 294 seats 5 years in the past, was not a major contender within the 2021 elections was no secret. But its no-show was a shock for a lot of. For it had fielded a number of ladies and comparatively younger candidates to show the tide, and had additionally stitched up an alliance with the Congress and cleric Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front.
Still, it was worn out, even from its conventional strongholds. For occasion, CPI(M) chief and sitting MLA Sujan Chakraborty misplaced in Jadavpur, which communists had held for the reason that Sixties, barring a five-year interval from 2011 to 2016.
Lack of belief amongst voters and organisational weak point may very well be the 2 key causes behind this regular decline, although the Left must do detailed analyses to get to the basis of the issue.
However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Kailash Vijayvargiya had one other clarification. According to him, the Left intentionally conceded floor in an effort to assist the Trinamool Congress (TMC). “If they (Left parties) had fought well, then our performance would have been much better,” Vijayvargiya mentioned.
Mohammed Salim, a senior chief of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), denied the cost. “How can we ever forget what Mamata did to us in 2011, when she first came to power. Why should we help her?” he instructed News18.
After coming to energy, chief minister Mamata Banerjee, a former Congress chief who learnt her politics from the Left, ensured that her arch-rivals have been decimated within the state. A big part of CPI(M) staff joined the TMC and instances have been filed in opposition to high Left leaders. The staff that didn’t yield alleged intimidation by the TMC — one of many causes behind a lot of them gravitating in the direction of the BJP.
Nonetheless, there’s a buzz over Banerjee visiting her predecessor, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, at a Kolkata hospital, the place he was present process remedy in December. Speculations are rife over what the leaders, who see the BJP’s model of politics as a menace, may need mentioned.
Political analyst Subir Bhowmick mentioned the Left tried to run a robust marketing campaign. He additionally rejected the speculation that the Left may have helped the TMC. “It was the mood of the people, who did everything to keep the BJP out,” he mentioned.
The TMC’s declare that the BJP would carry within the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens, and that these would act in opposition to the pursuits of Muslims in addition to Hindus from Bangladesh sparked concern, he mentioned. “This fear factor worked for the TMC. People who felt this way also felt that choosing the Left would mean wasting their votes,” Bhowmick added.
But the Left’s marketing campaign lacked enamel in some pockets. When News18 visited areas the place the Left and the Congress have been perceived sturdy, their staff have been lacking on the bottom. In Murshidabad, the turf of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the alliance’s marketing campaign was lacklustre with the Congress senior affected by Covid-19. In Malda too, the alliance faltered, because the Congress’s total tally remained at a nought (it received 44 seats in 2016).
One of the explanations may very well be Banerjee’s choice to remain put within the area for 5 days within the final leg. She appealed to Muslim voters to not cut up their votes, which may have helped the BJP in a three-way struggle.
A supply admitted that the Left’s efficiency was dismal, however pointed to the truth that the BJP was halted in its tracks. “We know the psyche of the TMC, but not of the BJP…In the end, we have to think of the nation,” the supply mentioned.