Did Mamata Score An Own Goal By Pulling Out Of I.N.D.I.A To Secure TMC’s Prospects In Bengal?


The Left and the Congress are fighting for survival in Bengal. For the BJP, this is a big battle for prestige as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have repeatedly asserted that Bengal will give the BJP the biggest gain in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. On the other hand, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress had asserted that it would give no quarter to the saffron party.

However, Mamata Banerjee, who was initially with the I.N.D.I.A bloc, was unhappy with the seat demands of the Congress-Left alliance and decided to walk out of the coalition in Bengal. Towards the fag end of the polling phases, she even said that she would provide “outside support” to the coalition if it fell short of numbers.

Perhaps, she estimated that the move could backfire on her party, leading to a miss in the government in case the I.N.D.I.A bloc won the Lok Sabha polls 2024. Additionally, she could be looking to shed the image of a “vote cutter” that she had managed to own by walking out of the alliance as the BJP was the only party that stood to gain from the division of votes that would occur as a result of TMC leaving the Opposition coalition.

READ ON ABP LIVE | Sandeshkhali: Women Clash With Police, RAF In Fresh Violence. Bengal Governor Writes To CM Mamata Banerjee

Bengal Exit Poll Results

Mamata Banerjee’s concerns were not unfounded. At least that’s what pollsters are saying. The exit poll results that came out after the seven phases of voting ended on Saturday gave a big lead to the saffron party in the eastern state.

Pollsters more or less agreed that the TMC was losing ground in Bengal. 

The Jan Ki Baat predicts anywhere between 16 and 18 seats for the TMC, whereas the India Today-Axis My India projected 17 seats for it. India News-D-Dynamics and Republic Bharat-Matrize have slightly optimistic figures for the Mamata Banerjee-led party. While the former predicts 19 seats will go to the TMC, the latter projected 16-20 constituencies in its kitty. News18’s Mega Exit Poll gave the TMC the best figures, predicting 18-21 seats with a 40% vote share. It gave the BJP 21-24 seats with a 43% vote share.

The ABP-CVoter exit poll survey projected 13-17 seats for the TMC and 23-27 seats for the BJP. The Congress-CPI(M) alliance could get 1-3 seats, as per the exit polls.

The School Of Politics has released its exit poll survey of the seats across India. The survey predicted some big upsets in TMC bastions. The pollster has predicted that the TMC would lose its Maldaha Dakshin, Dum Dum, Kanthi, and Purba Bardhaman bastions among others.

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TMC, Congress & CPI(M) In 2019

Even in 2019, the TMC was fighting a three-cornered against the Congress-CPI(M) coalition and the BJP and suffered significant losses. Although it marginally gained on vote share, the TMC lost 12 seats from its 2014 tally and was reduced to just 22 seats. The alliance did not benefit either, with the Congress and CPI(M) losing two seats each. While the Congress managed to retain just two seats, the CPI(M) failed to open its account in the 2019 Bengal Lok Sabha elections. The alliance, too, suffered major losses in terms of seat share as the Congress lost 4% of its vote share since last time and the CPI(M) nearly 17%. 

The BJP was the biggest gainer, having won 40% of the valid votes, up 22% from its 2014 tally. It bettered its 2014 tally of 2 seats, winning 18 in the 2019 elections.

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Big Factors That Could Work Against TMC

Sandeshkhali Violence: While the BJP is unlikely to win the Basirhat constituency, which covers the Sandeshkhali Assembly segment, according to most pollsters, the issue gained nationwide attention. The issue is likely to have resonated with the state voters as well.

Teachers’ Recruitment Scam: The Calcutta High Court’s decision on the Teachers’ Recruitment Scam in April that nullified 25,000 appointments in Bengal could not have come at a worse time for the TMC. Although the Supreme Court stayed the HC’s order, the BJP was quick to capitalise on the issue and slam the TMC.

OBC Quota Row: Another Calcutta HC decision slam-dunked the TMC amid the elections. On May 22, the HC scrapped all Other Backward Classes (OBC) certificates issued by the West Bengal after 2010. The BJP hung on to the issue and accused the Mamata government of giving away the rights of OBCs to Muslims.

The country is now eagerly awaiting June 4 for the final results to be out as the debates over exit polls continue to heat up.


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