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Bengal elections: Behind the numbers

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Enough has been said about BJP’s defeat in West Bengal. But still TMC is very territorial even after winning elections in Landslide. What is the reason behind it? Is CM Mamta still not confident about her future that the entire TMC cadre has been asked to resort to violence, or is there something behind the propaganda of the Media which is rattling the TMC so it is resorting to large scale violence, intimidation after the results are announced? Let us deep dive into the results in a more analytical way.

Once a Party wins an election they will be elated and will start working on the blind spots i.e the constituencies, group of voters who did not voted for them and start engaging with them in the form of increasing the membership, providing ministerial births, Government benefits etc. But if the same group of voters/constituencies are not voting for the party in more than 2 election cycles (i.e 10 years) then the party might stop engaging much with them and will continue the status quo of engagement which happened before the elections. But TMC is not doing these instead it focuses too much on BJP. In Bengal this is the first time BJP at an assembly level made a mark by tripling its vote share. Even though BJP increased its vote share, TMC was unhurt i.e no decrease in seats or vote share but still they are engaging violently with BJP. It either shows the lack of confidence TMC has on Bengalis or else TMC knows it has hit its peak which is making it go crazy as there is no way they can do that again.

Let us now analytically decipher the results.

1.BJP increased its vote share from mere 10% to 38%.In 2016 BJP got 55 Lakh votes, they increased it to 2.28 Crore votes in 2021.A whopping 1.6 crore votes more. It all happened in one election cycle. It is not a small feat. Never ever any party has done it. Even Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took 2 elections at Assembly level to increase his vote share.

2.Usually when a wave election happens it will hit the opponent very hard like Congress, Communists. When compared to 2019 Lok sabha elections BJP just lost 2 lakh voters in a wave election against it. BJP is the only party which has withstood many wave elections against it either by holding on to its previous vote share or seats ex: M.P, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and bounced back very quickly in next election.

3.Now to the numbers. BJP lost around 56 seats in margin of less than 15000 votes.

Vote Margin10000-150005000-100001000-5000less than 1000
Seats lost 1519193

If we add up these seats to current tally of 77,it will come to 133.

4.if BJP adds 20000-25000 votes more in the above 36 seats along with additional 20 seats, they can cross 148 which means they have to add around 11 Lakh to 15 Lakh i.e 5-7% more with current vote percentage. Which is very feasible for BJP since it added 1.6 crore more votes in 2021 when compared to 2016.

5.The main reason why BJP missed the mark was due to women voters not voting for the Party. If BJP can come up with schemes specifically for women voters it can do wonders. There is good template of doing that in NDA itself like Orunudoi scheme of Assam, Flavors of Kanya dhan scheme of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Free washing machine scheme announced by ADMK in TN etc

6.38% of Votes which BJP has got is , all from Hindu community only. When we extrapolate it, It deciphers as below

A) Out of 80% people who voted we can subtract 15-20% of Minority voters so it means 65-60% of Hindus voted.

B) In that 65-60% BJP has got 38% i.e around 58-63% of Hindus voted for BJP. Which is a very humongous number . I think this is the one which is making TMC nervous.

7) Jim Crow Law of Bengal: Bengal is the only state in India which follows the principles of Jim crow.If the reader has followed politics of the US, you will know Jim Crow Law is one of the starting points of American civil rights movement. Using Jim Crow Laws, the US govt segregated African Americans and it made sure African Americans are underrepresented in all fields in the US. Similarly Congress, Communists & TMC follow the template of threatening Opposite party booth workers, intimidating Voters so that they will not be able to vote freely and if it does not work out then go on a killing spree so that nobody will sit in opposition. It is now the onus of BJP Higher ups to break this cycle and make sure its workers stay put and defend their rights.

8.Defeat of Sitting CM Mamta Banerjee is no ordinary thing. In the history of Bengal this is the first time the incumbent CM has been defeated but the party won massively. So it shows the vulnerability of TMC in the future elections. Contrary to what the Media portrays, it is not BJP which is vulnerable but the head of the TMC, Mamta didi is vulnerable. It makes the first family of TMC more angry so they allowed the violence for the past few days.

9.The media narrative which is happening now looks like a redux of the BJP defeat in UP Loksabha by polls during 2018.At that time also i argued that results during that time cannot be taken as referendum on PM Modi entirely which can be read below

BJP has faced this trial by fire many times (2015 Delhi,Bihar,2018 assembly elections etc) but when the smoke clears everyone will realize the results have made Mamta more vulnerable. Also BJP always performs well when it is underdog.

So what are the minimum things BJP can do in West bengal to increase its vote by 5-7%

1.Formulate the CAA rules. Don’t wait for next election cycle. Create the basic rules of CAA by 2022 and Start giving citizenship documents to Matuas. Even if WB govt blocks it, start giving citizenship to a small percentage of Matua community people in other states. It can create a tremendous good will among Matuas which can help in further consolidation

2.Announce schemes targeting Women voters at Central level and start implementing it. Schemes like Orunudoi of Assam, Flavors of Kanya dhan scheme of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Free washing machine announced by ADMK in TN etc Can really help in gathering more Women votes for BJP

3.Reach to Bengali Youth communities residing in different states. Not all are supporters of left ideology. There are huge silent Bengali youths who are angry with the current violent situation. Use them as a messiah to deepen further into West bengal.

4.There are multiple ways to win any election either focus on spreading across all constituencies or follow the Assam approach of focusing only on favorable constituencies. So instead of giving a lot of efforts in convincing Bhadralok communities, focus on other areas around Kolkata. Bhadralok communities will rally behind the party which wins. First they were with Congress then communists now with TMC. So focus on Voter sections who will give high yield like Women voters,Youths etc. Even if BJP wins additional 40 seats, entire Bhadralok communities will start supporting BJP in lock stock and barrel.

5.Don’t try to focus and split Muslim communities. Consider they will vote en bloc and devise a strategy to overcome it like Assam BJP. As usual Muslims demand will sky rocket now as like 2011 Assam election,2012 UP election. TMC will not be able to complete support or oppose their demands. So it will create a kind of anti incumbency among Muslims also, which will automatically result in splitting of votes.

As like Bihar when everyone wrote of BJP in 2015 there is a huge chance for BJP to grow in Bengal. BJP state team and Central team should now focus on supporting booth level workers physically and financially to safeguard themselves from violent TMC attacks.

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