In what appears to be another worrying sign for the TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and the entire anti-BJP and anti-Hindutva ecosystem, the BJP is set to make solid gains in the state of West Bengal. The latest ABP C-voter survey has predicted that the BJP is going to make prolific gains in the Panchayat elections to be held in the state this year. While the TMC is expected to retain a clear majority in the state, the elections will witness the emergence of the BJP as a considerable force in West Bengal. The BJP is predicted to become the principal opposition party in the state leaving behind the CPI (M). The Congress is expected to maintain its recent track record and occupy a distant fourth position.
The TMC is going to secure a comfortable victory with a prediction of winning 538 Zila Parishads out of a total of 825 Zila Parishads. However, the BJP is going to get a kick-start with a victory in 167 Parishads. The Left is predicted to be left far behind with a mere 73 Parishads. The Congress is going to embarrass itself all over again with mere 43 parishads. However, the major change in West Bengal’s political landscape is manifested by a remarkable vote share for the BJP. The party is going to secure 26 per cent of the vote share while the TMC is expected to get 34 per cent of the vote share. The difference might seem to be substantial but let us not forget the fact that BJP is a new entrant in West Bengal politics. This is a commendable start, and as it gets closer to the people there might be a sharp rise in its vote share, putting Mamata Banerjee on thin ice. Over the last four years, the Bhartiya Janata Party has also shown the appetite of dominating the regions where it was at one time non-existent. The Left parties and the Congress are predicted to secure merely 13 per cent and 7 per cent vote share respectively. This conclusively proves that the BJP is the only party that can effectively challenge Mamata Banerjee in the state of West Bengal. An upset in the next assembly elections at this stage seems every likely.
The Bhartiya Janata Party seems to have been helped by TMC goons who tried to stop the BJP candidates from filing nominations. The Calcutta High Court therefore passed a stay order on the ongoing election process in the state. This has led to a delay in the elections. BJP workers and leaders were not only assaulted by TMC workers but were also restrained from filing nominations by the hooligans of the ruling party. This led to the High Court providing appropriate relief to the BJP. The first opinion poll conducted by the ABP was aired on 9th April 2018. In between the two opinion polls, the TMC has suffered a one per cent dip in its vote share whereas the BJP has gained 23 seats fuelled by a 2 per cent rise in its vote share. As the elections come closer, the total vote share might rise further, creating further headaches for the TMC. This shows that the Bhartiya Janata Party is the chief benefactor of delay in the elections.
The saffron party has been trying hard to overcome Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. It seems that finally the BJP is going to taste success in the state. The BJP has today emerged as the principal opposition leaving the Left way behind. It seems that TMC’s strategy of winning the polls by abetting violence has totally failed. In fact, it has massively backfired and the BJP has greatly benefited. This also shows that the people of West Bengal are increasingly embracing political change. Notwithstanding the current gap in presence, the national ruling party is on the rise while TMC is a dwindling force. Mamata Benerjee’s dictatorial tendencies and her Hindu-bashing policies have pushed Bengali Hindus further away and they see a ray of hope in the BJP. Mamata Benerjee also understands this and there could have been no reason for stooping down to the level of not allowing BJP canidates from filing nominations. The Bhartiya Janata Party is already getting popular in the state and Mamata Banerjee must be apprehensive of being defeated in a manner similar to former chief minister Manik Sarkar’s humiliating defeat in Tripura.