oppn parties Mamata Banerjee: What a Performance!

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  • PM Modi slams politicians from his own party who are making irresponsible statements on the Ayodhya case and tells them to wait for the Supreme Court order
  • Telecom panel says resident welfare associations (RWA) cannot give monopoly access to any one service provider and infrastructure in public spaces and residential complexes will have to be shared by all
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, tells him there is no need for an NRC in Bengal
  • After 14 days, there is no hope left for reviving Vikram, the moon lander
  • CBI teams search for elusive Rajeev Kumar
Election Commission announces elections in Maharashtra and Haryana on October 21. Counting and results on October 24. Bypolls, including for 15 seats in Karnataka, will be held simultaneously
oppn parties
Mamata Banerjee: What a Performance!

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Proving all pundits and psephologists wrong, Mamata Banerjee’s TMC is all set to return to power in West Bengal with an increased majority. There were many calculations being done during the campaign and many pundits were of the view that the Left-Congress alliance and the relative silence of the voters were a signal that maybe didi would suffer setbacks. Some were also pointing to the fact that since the elections were being held in 6 phases with large deployment of Central forces, TMC would not be able to employ strong arm tactics to win these polls comfortably. Then, the exit polls showed Mamata winning but with a reduced majority and the Left-Congress alliance gaining big. All these proved to be way off the mark and it is certain that TMC will improve upon its 2011 tally.

This has happened despite a united opposition. Arithmetically, if these two had united, given their individual vote shres in past elections, they should have unseated the TMC, especially as the ruling party was on the back foot due to Saradha and other scams and stings. But if this did not happen, it was mostly due to three main reasons. First, the Left parties are a pale shadow of their earlier self. Their cadre base has moved away – some have joined the TMC while the rest had made enough money in three decades to retire to a life of luxury. Their leaders have lost the fire on the one hand while on the other, Mamata has been more Left than them, robbing them of their USP. Secondly, Mamata Banerjee very astutely put her own squeaky clean image on line by shielding other allegedly corrupt leaders in her party. She famously asked the electorate not to vote for her if they found her corrupt. The results show that the voters thought her to be clean and the tactic worked. Finally, Surya Kanta Mishra versus Mamata Banerjee was never going to be a fight anyway.