On Thursday, West Bengal went one step further in electing its next government, as polling for the sixth phase was concluded with a staggering 79.11 per cent voter turnout. This, despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across the nation – West Bengal being no exception. Despite the Covid-scare, voters of 43 constituencies which went to polls yesterday were upbeat about electing their next government. Interestingly, despite the significant upsurge in Covid-19 cases across the country, migrants are not shying away from returning to West Bengal to cast their ballot. Needless to say, this is no good news for incumbent chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Migrant workers originally from West Bengal, but earning their livelihoods in other parts of the country will in no way imperil their health and safety amid a pandemic and economic uncertainty to return to their home state only to vote for the status quo. This time around, the vote in West Bengal is one for change, and migrant workers travelling back to their state to get their fingers inked are no exception. The magnitude of Mamata Banerjee’s impending defeat on May 2 can be gauged from the fact that migrant workers are returning to West Bengal while sacrificing at least 10 to 15 days of their daily wages, apart from also paying for their travel expenses.
Such is the drive to see Mamata Banerjee ousted from power, that migrant workers quoted by Amar Ujala said how they under no circumstances are in a mood to miss their trains to Bengal. Apparently, all migrant workers are disgusted with the possibility of their votes being wasted during such a crucial election, which can make or break their state’s fortunes. Rajkumar Choudhury told Amar Ujala, “I do not want to waste my vote. Although I will have to bear the consequences of not working for 15 days, I cannot miss this train (to West Bengal) at any cost.” Choudhury is slated to vote in the final phase of polling in West Bengal, on April 29.
When the mood of the people is that they are willing to put their lives in danger only to see their state being rid of a party which has no right to be in power, the incumbents must know that their end is near. Not only are people from across the country travelling to Bengal, but even local residents are taking the risks of going to the polling booths and exercising their franchise. Mamata Banerjee does not seem to stand a chance, come May 2.