The state of West Bengal has once again voted for Mamata Banerjee. BJP, which put all its energy into the campaigns with much hope and optimism, could not cross double-digit votes although the party bagged around 38 per cent votes and emerged as the second-largest party and will sit in the opposition.
The trends in the results were similar to that of the 2019 general election except for the fact that TMC further consolidated its vote base, especially among Muslim voters, and the parties like Congress, CPM and smaller regional parties were wiped out. The Muslim voters, who used to be divided among various parties including TMC, Congress, and CPM, voted en masse for Mamata Banerjee in this election, as their primary aim was to defeat BJP.
Congress and CPM, which bagged 5.67 and 6.33 percentage votes respectively in the 2019 general election, were reduced to 2.84 per cent and 4.5 per cent votes and the 5 per cent votes that the alliance lost, went to Mamata Banerjee in this election. The vote percentage of Mamata Banerjee led TMC increased from 43.3 per cent to 48.5 per cent, around 5 per cent. So, it is very much evident that while BJP has not lost much of the vote share, Congress and the Left got completely decimated and all their votes were bagged by TMC.
Even in the region-wise analysis, BJP won in the same constituencies that it won during the 2019 general election. While the performance of the party has been exceptional in the Western region of the state – the tribal and OBC dominated area of the state – it lost badly in the Northern and Southern region, the Muslim and Bhardrlok dominated areas.
The Bhadralok voters, who used to vote for Left parties till 2006, switched their loyalty to Mamata Banerjee in the 2011 assembly election and have not abandoned her so far. In the Kolkata and Kolkata suburban districts, TMC swept almost all seats just like it did in the 2019 general election. The city of Kolkata did not rally behind the BJP in the 2021 assembly election despite the fact that the party fielded many candidates like Swapan Dasgupta from the Bhadralok community.
Another noticeable pattern was that the rural voters voted en masse for BJP while urban voters preferred TMC. This was on the expected lines because the villages of West Bengal have been ignored by Communist parties as well as Mamata Banerjee for decades, and the families of rural West Bengal have one of the lowest per capita consumption expenditure in India.
Next time, the BJP must work on increasing its presence in the urban localities, and most importantly in the city of Kolkata because it fights for only around two-thirds of votes given the fact that one-third of the voter base is of Muslims who will vote for any party that can defeat the BJP. The party must learn from its mistakes and keep its flock together because the TMC workers are expected to threaten and weaken the party cadre after the results.