New Delhi: Mandate has come and it is the story of a big success. Mamata Banerjee has retained West Bengal but the single big takeaway from the state is the complete decimation of the Left parties and Congress.
“It will be a total bipolar contest henceforth in Bengal,” BJP spokesman Jay Prakash Mazumdar told reporters conceding the party defeat.
In a major irony of things, Mamata Banerjee lost the much prestigious Nandigram to Suvendu Adhikari of BJP by 1957 votes.
Her party, however, returned to power for third time with a landslide victory. The Trinamool tally could go up to 215-218 as against 70 plus for the BJP. In 2016, Trinamool had won 211.
“Forget Nandigram, in our struggle we have to give up some things, One loss does not matter. I accept the Nandigram result. People have done good, I suppose”, she said.
Ms Banerjee still sounded critical of the Election Commission and asserted she would go to the Supreme Court against the poll panel.
“Congratulations to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee Didi on her party’s victory in West Bengal assembly elections. My best wishes to her for her next tenure,” tweeted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also congratulated Ms Banerjee, who will be returning for her third tenure as the Chief Minister.
“…..Good wishes for your next tenure,” Ms Sitharaman wrote on the microblogging site.
BJP spokesman Mazumdar said it was a fierce and good electoral battle in the state and maintained that the party will go into introspection as to why the outcome was not up to their expectation.
“We concede defeat….if there were any limitations and lapses, it was not with the people of Bengal. All limitations were ours,” he said.
He maintained that while Trinamool’s campaign of ‘Bangla Nijer meye ke chae (Bengal wants its own daughter)’ might have helped the party, it is also a fact that there was an overwhelming shift of Left-Congress votes to the Mamata Banerjee’s outfit.
Mamata Banerjee, however, did not declined to comment anything on the performance of these parties.
“….BJP lost badly,” she remarked.
Promising to play the role of a constructive opposition, the BJP spokesman said, “Now it is time, the political violence and post-poll violence should come to an end”.
Mazumdar lamented that, “Despite Election Commission’s restrictions, there were victory rallies today and in several places BJP workers and offices have been attacked”.
“Even in Kolkata, Trinamool workers came on bikes and staged noisy demonstrations in front of the BJP office. At Arambagh, the party office was burnts and there were such reports from other places too,” he said.
“It is time as the leader Mamata Banerjee should appeal and restrain her party workers from carrying out such activities against political rivals,” Mazumdar said.
BJP general secretary in charge West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya said emotive appeals like the campaign against outsiders and “Mamata getting hurt and on wheelchair” might have gone against the BJP.
This was an election where a sustained campaign was launched by different quarters including a section of youths who said “Do not vote for BJP”.
The agenda was to stall the march of a principal opposition force, that is the BJP, and elections were thus not held on the performance of an incumbent government, a political observer said.