oppn parties Exit Polls Predict Saffronization of West Bengal

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  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
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  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
oppn parties
Exit Polls Predict Saffronization of West Bengal

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2019-05-20 16:41:12

The exit polls for West Bengal have confirmed one thing – Mamata Banerjee’s hold over the state is weakening. Although the TMC vote share is not expected to fall, the party has neither been able to attract new converts nor has it been able to prevent the BJP from consolidating and taking over the votes of former Left and Congress voters. The net result is that while the TMC vote share remains stagnant, that of the BJP is increasing by leaps and bounds in each successive election. It also means that the BJP is emerging as a formidable opponent, one that cannot be as easily brushed aside as the Left and the Congress, especially as it is likely to get another term at the Centre.

Both parties fought tooth and nail and that resulted in sporadic violence in all seven phases of the polls. It also led to intense bitterness between Modi and Mamata. Modi called her “speed breaker Didi” for not allowing development in the state and “sticker Didi” for renaming Central schemes and putting them out as her own while Mamata called him “expiry PM” and the “greatest danger” for the country. She said that he will get the “slap” of democracy when the people will throw him out in the elections. She also said that she refused to acknowledge him as the prime minister when she did not return his calls post the cyclone Fani. The bitterness culminated in violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata when Vidyasagar’s bust was desecrated by hooligans and both parties accused each other of the crime. When Modi subsequently offered to replace the bust with a new one, Mamata spurned the offer by saying the Bengal did not need BJP’s “alms”.

But if the results are close to what the exit polls (which Mamata has derisively dismissed as “gossip”) are predicting, then it will be clear that the BJP has made massive inroads into a state where it had little or no infrastructure and no good local leadership. It also means that the BJP has been successful in getting the erstwhile Left voter to its fold. More certainly, it also means that the bhadralok Bengali, till now consumed with secularism and fairness for all, is now being persuaded to vote for a party that is against minority appeasement. This trend must be extremely worrying for the TMC as assembly elections are just 2 years away.