BJP finished it with positive note
Asim Kumar Mitra
If the recent election to the six municipalities in the state is any yardstick for considering the political mood of the state, it can be said that Communists are not yet acceptable to the people of West Bengal as they have out rightly rejected them. Among six municipalities Trinamool Congress (TMC) has captured four municipalities while Congress and Communists have shared the other two. This electoral success of the ruling TMC who has just completed its one year-rule in the state on 21st May, 2012, has boosted up the morale of the ruling party i.e. TMC.
Recently there was a survey on the latest political situation in West Bengal, done by reputed organisation in this field— ACNielsen. The result of the survey said that if general election takes place just now or near future then one third of the total voters voted for TMC would not cast their votes in favour of the party they have chosen last time. On the other hand Communists’ share of votes would be 20 per cent less. Supporters of both the parties are disillusioned if not totally, to a very great extent. But the question is which way the drop out voters of both the parties i.e. TMC and CPI (M) would go in the event of any election coming next? The answer to this question given in the survey report is not clear enough to suggest that the disillusioned voters of the TMC would either support Congress or Communists. For supporters of Communists the choice is even more difficult. Although throughout the history we have seen that in such kind of difficult situation their natural choice used to be Congress. But this time the tottering condition of UPA-II is not at all attractive for Communists.
Hence a gap or you can say political vacuum has been created. Now the natural conclusion reached by almost all political pundits that it is the BJP who can fill in the gap. In West Bengal, this situation has compelled the state BJP leaders that they would become the natural choice of the people of the state. Of late, under the leadership of state president of BJP Rahul Sinha, series of agitation programmes have been organised and the successes they have registered were very much enthusiastic for them.
Then came election for six municipalities of the state. Although municipal elections are fought on strictly local issues, generally they don’t have any impact on the state politics let alone national politics. But this election has assumed a unique character which is very interesting. Firstly, although TMC and INC were in alliance in the state, still they fought this election separately. Secondly, In the last election in these six municipalities—Haldia, Panskura, Durgapur, Nalhati, Coopers’ and Dhupguri, TMC could constitute only one Board of Panskura municipality that too with the help of Congress. Thirdly Nalhati municipality was won by the Congress in last election. But later all Congress members of this municipality have joined the TMC.
Same is the situation in Coopers. This municipality is always held by Congress. This time also they have maintained the same tradition. In a total of 129 seats in six municipalities, BJP had captured only three seats. Impact wise these three seats have attracted extra attention towards BJP. TMC got 72 seats with an addition of 52 new seats. Last time Congress had got 29 seats. But this time they had to be satisfied with 15 seats. Left Front had lost 42 seats; they could retain only 38 seats. Only one Independent candidate has won.
According to the state BJP, they have got a right reason to rejoice this small victory in a big way because this is going to be a trend setter for future elections for them. It is a fact that the expectation of TMC was not fulfilled in this election. Even their election manager for Haldia, Shubhendu Adhikary, MP accepting the responsibility of defeat, wanted to resign from the post. Haldia was under this zone of East Midnapore district from the TMC had resurrected. So BJP thinks the support base of TMC has started reducing and it is an opportunity for them only to grab this vacuum area. And it is especially important to note that Communists have lost their moral power to face the electors.
To substantiate their premise, the BJP leadership had put forward the following arguments: a) in Dhupguri, BJP candidate got 164 more votes than TMC candidate. Last time they won the seat by getting only 93 more votes than the Left Front. Percentage wise the vote share has gone up from one per cent to 8 per cent. In Durgapur, BJP wrested one seat by fighting against three strong opponents — Congress, Communists and TMC and the BJP candidate defeated Communist candidate by 331 votes. Their vote share has gone up from 1.5 per cent to 4.38 per cent. In Nalhati, BJP had defeated TMC candidate by 271 votes. In Panskura and Haldia, BJP could not win but their vote share is 5.35 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.