Science students know Newton’s three laws of motion. The third law says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The result of the West Bengal Assembly elections suggests that this third law turned out to be sanjivani.
The BJP has opted for the policy of polarization. Consolidate Hindu votes, take out the arrears and Dalits, and poach the TMC army commanders to label it a sinking ship – the BJP’s strategy was based on these calculations. An impression was created that the TMC was weakening and the Hindus had woken up.
The BJP has achieved this to a large extent. How else would you explain the emergence of the three-seat BJP as the state’s second largest party and strong opposition?
TMC supporters celebrate the party’s landslide victory in Howrah on Sunday (Photo credits: PTI)
But the preparation should not be in opposition. In all his interviews, Amit Shah had said that the party would comfortably get 200 seats. He hoped that the Hindu polarization could lead to a possible miracle at the Bengal battlefield if the Left-Congress coalition even repeated its previous show.
No one expected Congress and the left to fare so badly. The hope was, because of the 10 years of anti-president, that some votes would come to the BJP as Hindu votes, and that some anti-BJP votes would go to the Left-Congress combination.
WAVE VS WAVE
But it is clear that the BJP has found itself trapped in its politics. In Satyajit Ray’s Bengal emerged Newton’s third law of motion which led to this wave against wave phenomenon.
It was the wave of Hindu polarization against the polarization of Muslims, secularists and anti-BJP Hindus. This wave concerned unease with a political party that looked too aggressive even before the election. This wave was to leave old allegiances and stand with a party that could stop the BJP.
The result was this: the BJP could garner 50-55% of the Hindu votes, while 75% of the Muslim votes did not move anywhere other than the TMC. The rest of the Hindu votes went to the TMC anyway.
During the elections, Muslims distrusted AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi. He played a role in the conclusions Muslims drew after the BJP victory in Bihar. This is why Owaisi has seriously failed in Bengal, despite the state having a substantially large Muslim population.
Even those who had traditionally voted for the left and Congress felt that it was more important, for now, to prevent the BJP from coming to their state than ideological differences and party loyalties. That’s why some TMC votes went to the BJP, but much of the left-wing congressional vote bank tilted towards Mamata.
Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addressing a voting rally in Sough Dinajpur on April 22, 2021 (Photo credits: PTI)
The Muslim vote was decisive out of 49 seats in the last four stages of the ballot. Of these, Congress held 26 and the left 11. The TMC only had 10. But this time all those seats went to the TMC. This difference of 37 seats proved to be very crucial for Mamata.
Rahul Gandhi has canceled his gatherings due to the pandemic. On the outside, Rahul was seen to send a great moral message, but it also gave party supporters an inherent signal.
It was after a long time that the upper castes and Muslims united against the BJP. A fiery Dilip Ghosh, BJP aggression and Mamata’s Bengali pride card, his courage to face the whole army alone and his sympathy – many factors were causing the wave against the Modi wave.
The result is in front of us. Despite historic success, the BJP has limited itself as an opposition. The left and Congress have paid the highest price. They were eliminated from the state. After her 10-year reign, Mamata will once again be the Chief Minister. The plaster is out of his legs. She walks forward.