Trinamul is the larger victim of BJP’s Bengal surge


By bappaditya paul     

Notwithstanding the electoral drubbing it administered to the Left parties, the ruling Trinamul Congress has emerged as the larger victim of BJP’s surge in West Bengal this Lok Sabha polls.BJPGoing by the number of votes polled in this Lok Sabha elections, BJP on its own has taken a lead in 20 Assembly seats in West Bengal. There are four more seats ~ three in Darjeeling Hills and one in Dooars ~ where the saffron party is in lead but that is primarily because of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha.

The saffron party has also secured second position in another 21 Assembly segments. This is a meager tally when compared to the 294 Assembly seats that Bengal has.Trinamul Congress symbolBut what is significant is that of the 20 seats where BJP has taken a lead, Trinamul Congress had won in a majority 14 in the 2011 Bengal Assembly election. Of the remaining six seats, four belonged to the Congress and two to the Left. The fine print of this result makes it clear that Trinamul may have snatched several new Assembly seats from the Left; it has also lost some to the BJP.

The 14 Trinamul seats that the BJP has taken a lead are ~ Bhowanipore and Jorasankho in Kolkata, Bidhannagar and Bhatpara in North 24-Parganas, Seerampore in Hooghly, Krishnanagar North in Nadia, Raniganj, Asansol North, Asansol South, Kulti and Baraboni in Burdwan, Englishbazar in Malda, Islampur in North Dinajpur and Siliguri in Darjeeling. Mamata BanerjeeBhowanipore happens to be the Assembly segment of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee; Englishbazar and Islampur are seats wherefrom two of her Cabinet colleagues Krishnandu Narayan Choudhury and Abdul Karim Chowdhury had won, respectively. Asansol North is the Assembly seat of Moloy Ghatak, whom Miss Banerjee recently forced to resign as Agriculture Minister due to the poll loss.

The four Congress seats where BJP was in lead this Lok Sabha elections are ~ Matigara-Naxalbari and Phansidewa in Darjeeling, Nagrakata in Dooars and Kharagpur Sadar in West Midnapore. Congress’ Darjeeling district president Sankar Malakar had become an MLA from the Matigara-Naxalbari seat in 2011.CPM symbolThe two seats where the BJP has pushed back the Left are Madarihat in Dooars that has an RSP MLA and Basirhat South in North 24-Parganas, which was occupied by CPI-M in 2011.

(The author is on the staff of The Statesman, India. This report first appeared in The Statesman on 24 May 2014.)


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