The Big StoryMay 03, 2021
00:18:2816.95 MB

Bengal Results a Decisive Defeat for Modi-Shah Brand of Politics

One of the most aggressively fought election battles finally came to a close on 2 May, with a sweeping victory for the Trinamool Congress in the West Bengal Assembly polls.

The party is back to power for the third time in a row with an absolute majority, although party supremo Mamata Banerjee herself lost the prestige battle over the Nandigram seat to her former aide, Suvendhu Adhikari who had switched over to the BJP.

Counting of votes took place in there other states and a UT as well.
  • Assam, where the BJP became the only non-Congress party to secure a consecutive second term in the state,
  • Tamil Nadu where the DMK wrested power from the AIADMK after 10 years, and Stalin is all set to become first time Chief Minister after waiting for decades,
  • Kerala – where the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF's level-headed handling of the Covid crisis brought them back to power for a second consecutive term — a feat that no party has been able to manage in Kerala in the last 40 years
  • And of course the Union territory of Puducherry – where the NDA managed to usurp the last hold of the Congress in the south.

Yet, amidst all these states, it was the West Bengal results that grabbed the most attention, where the BJP's defeat has come as quite a shock to the party leadership.

A far cry from Modi-Shah's prediction of 200 seats, the party managed only 77 seats in the Assembly, although that is much more than the three seats they had bagged in the 2016 elections.

But more than an electoral defeat for the BJP, the West Bengal results are being seen as a striking blow to the BJP's brand of politics.

Despite the numerous defections of TMC heavyweights into the BJP, despite the blatant polarisation of Hindus and Muslims in the election rallies, despite a strong line-up of BJP campaigners to take on Mamata Banerjee with taunts and jibes, didi seems to have reserved Bengal for "bangla'r meye" and thwart the BJP's ambitions in the state.

But what is it that worked in the favour of TMC? How did Mamata Banerjee lead her party to such a phenomenal victory despite her incumbency? What does the election results mean for Bengal and what is the message for the BJP here? Tune in!

Host and Producer: Shorbori Purkayastha
Guest: Aditya Menon, Political Editor, The Quint
Editor: Shelly Walia

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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