West Bengal

Bengal Voted For Trinamool Because There Is Simply No Alternative

Jaideep Mazumdar

Jun 04, 2024, 03:08 PM | Updated Jun 06, 2024, 08:42 PM IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP's) utter humiliation in Bengal for the second time in three years should serve as a wake-up call, once again, for the party’s central leadership. 

There is no doubt that the BJP has only itself to blame for its disastrous performance in the state. Not only could the saffron party not wrest more seats from the Trinamool Congress as it had said it would, the BJP could not even hold on to its 2019 tally of 18.

This is not to say that the people of Bengal have reposed faith in Mamata Banerjee and all the scams, issues of misgovernance, unemployment, poverty and financial mismanagement that has pushed Bengal deeply into the red, have been simply ignored by the electorate. 

It is the BJP that failed to leverage the latent anger amongst the people of Bengal and inspire confidence among them. That is because the BJP has failed to strengthen itself organisationally and inspire confidence among the people of the state.

The Bengal unit of the BJP, as is well-known, is in shambles and has been so for a long time. The BJP’s growth in Bengal has not been organic and the state party unit has always relied overwhelmingly on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to gather votes. 

The state BJP unit is also riven by factionalism, petty squabbles and ego battles among its senior leaders, and a lack of direction. The infighting at the top level of the party in the state has had a devastating effect on the morale of the cadres, many of whom have simply lost interest and dissociated themselves from the party. 

The BJP’s choice of candidates in many seats has also been poor. People of doubtful credentials were given tickets in some seats.

What also worked against the BJP in Bengal is the poor representation of the state in the Union cabinet. 

Despite winning 18 seats from Bengal in 2019, the party did not give a fair representation to the state. A couple of these MPs were made junior ministers, but those were without any powers. That did not go down well with the people of the state. 

But what mattered most was the BJP’s lack of organisational muscle. The absence of karyakartas and, more importantly, enthusiastic karyakartas, on the ground was a big minus point for the party. 

The Trinamool did not score such a decisive victory in Bengal because the masses of the state decided to suspend their woes and anger and vote for the party. They voted for the Trinamool because there was simply no alternative to the Trinamool in Bengal. 

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