Didi and goliath

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/3/2021 1:32:04 PM IST

 Amidst the raging second wave of the coronavirus since mid-February that continues to infect lakhs of people and claiming the lives of around three thousand each day, Indians tuned in to their television sets on May 2,2021 for results of elections to four states(Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu) and one union territory (Puducherry). The results showed that voters in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry rejected their incumbent governments, while voters in Assam, Kerala and West Bengal re-elected their incumbent governments. However, the West Bengal assembly election, held under an unprecedented eight phase (March 27 to April 29) and most intense and bitterly fought between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP, gripped the attention of the nation. Several darbari national media, except for one or two out of several dozens, betrayed their preference by devising disingenuous ways to predict that Didi will be undone by the anti-incumbency factor as Bengal wanted a change and that the visible change was Modi’s BJP. If the Battle for Bengal was a battle for survival for Mamata and her TMC; it was also a litmus test to the awesome election juggernaut of the BJP and the electoral formula magic of prime minister Narendra Modi and his home minister Amit Shah. On the other hand, even as early as March 28, union home minister had declared as that the BJP will win over 200 seats and form the government. The BJP’s massive election juggernaut rolled through the length and breadth of Bengal for election was more than awesome. The BJP used its tried, tested and proven strategy against the Congress and was confident that it will also succeed in Bengal. It was a fight between a lone woman against the entire political and even state machinery. All pollsters and most of them quite reputed and some riding on the reputation of being as accurate gave TMC 141 and the BJP, close with 138 and the Left-Congress alliance around 13 seats. Since all the media reflected more or less the same predictions, the nation expected either a wafer thin majority for the TMC or a hung house. Even the most optimistic Trinamool Congress supporters expected the party’s tally to be bag 170 seats or so. However, the voters in Bengal proved that the cannot be swayed by majoritarian politics. They voted for Didi by giving her a resounding win with 213 seats, two more than in 2016. Despite massive use of resources including serious allegations of biased decisions of the Election Commission against TMC, the BJP failed to prevail in Bengal. Poll strategist Prashan Kishore, who scripted the brilliant win for TMC alleged on TV that the Election Commission had played a blatantly partisan role in Bengal. After poll results for Bengal were out, he said questions will now be raised not just about the role of the Commission and its impartiality but also about the unprecedented amount of money spent by the BJP in the election in Bengal. However, to be fair, the West Bengal defeat was not exactly a fiasco for the BJP since its seat share shot up from merely three in 2016 to 77 in 2021. By all accounts it was a huge gain. In addition, BJP comfortably retained Assam and wrested power in Puducherry in alliance with AINRC. However, the loss in Bengal can be described as a humiliation for the so far unchallenged leadership duo of the BJP while propelling Mamata to the national stage.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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