BJP surges, Left decimated: Will saffron be Mamata's opponent no. 1 in Bengal 2016?

There seems to be no road to recovery for the Left Front in West Bengal


Puja Bhattacharjee | September 16, 2014

Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have emerged as the biggest contenders for the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal. Both the parties, winning a seat each in the state by-polls, is the testament to this fact.

The two seats, which were being contested by all the major parties in the state for the by-polls — Chowringhee and Basirhat Dakhin assembly — saw Nayana Bandyopadhyay, wife of the leader of TMC member of parliament Sudip Bandyopadhyay win the first and Samik Bhattacharya of BJP winning the second.

It is interesting to see that one of the biggest party of Bengal, CPI(M), did not even come close to competing with other parties for the two seats.

The Chowringhee seat was fought out between the TMC, BJP and Congress whereas TMC and BJP were the main contenders for the Basirhat Dakshin seat.

The fortunes of the Left which fell in the 2011 assembly elections keeps falling further with little hope for recovery.

In spite of the Saradha scam, TMC’s support base remains ostensibly unaffected. But BJP enthused by the burgeoning support base post Lok sabha elections is moving ahead in full steam with an eye on the 2016 assembly elections. Bhattacharya is the first BJP legislator in the state assembly in a few decades.

For now, the Left Front stands decimated. It has been a trying time for the top leadership who have been regularly brainstorming to find out what will help them regain the lost ground.

Before the lok sabha elections, senior leader Robin Deb had told Governance Now that unlike Mamata Banerjee whose primary aim was to take control of the Writer’s building, they will support the positive steps taken by the government. Though noble in intent, the strategy seems to be going against the party.

Despite the huge Saradha scandal involving some top ministers of TMC, people are still voting for the party. It can either mean that they do not believe in the culpability of TMC or are yet to recover from the wounds of CPI(M)s 34 year regime. Whatever be the reason, with every election, CPI(M) inches closer to becoming obsolete in the state.



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