oppn parties Mamata Banerjee: What a Performance!

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
oppn parties
Mamata Banerjee: What a Performance!

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-05-19 11:43:25

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.