Assembly Results, An Eye-opener

Dr Suresh Mathew Dr Suresh Mathew
03 May 2021

They came all guns blazing. They tried to set the Hooghly river on fire. They unleashed one of the most high-voltage election campaigns ever seen in Assembly polls. But, the Bengal Tigress, singlehandedly, stopped them from coming anywhere near the seat of power. 

The BJP leaders, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, proved no match for Mamata Banerjee, the rising star on the Indian political horizon. She has stormed back to power bagging more seats than in the previous elections. Whatever gains the BJP made in Bengal came at a heavy price. 
There were reports that a Chief Minister could not connect with the Prime Minister to take up pressing Covid related issues as he was on a tour of West Bengal to address public rallies. The BJP was the last among the major political parties to call off public meetings despite surging covid cases. The worst of all, some of the saffron party leaders, spewing communal venom, tried their best to polarize the electorate, though a few TMC leaders too fell in the same trap. The Election Commission’s decision to stagger the polls in eight phases spreading over a month was also seen to help the ruling party at the Centre. Yet Didi stopped the BJP’s chariot.

The election results of other States too have thrown up some noteworthy points to ponder. In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ dried up in the ‘rising sun’ of the DMK. Along with its Allies, DMK found it pretty easy to dethrone its main rival. In the wave unleashed by Stalin-led Alliance, the BJP too faced a wash-out bagging just four seats in the 234-member Assembly. In the by-poll to Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat too, a constituency it had won on an earlier occasion, BJP was defeated by the Congress. 

Kerala created history with the Left Front romping back to power, a scenario not witnessed in the last forty years in the State. The groundswell of support to the government led by Pinarayi Vijayan is a recognition to its measures that brought relief to the common people. 

The UDF could not even keep the number of seats it won in the last elections. Another notable fallout is the BJP’s loss of the single seat it won in the last Assembly elections. It has gone back to where it stood before 2016 – zero seat. The party which made the most nonsensical claim of coming to power even if it bagged only 35 seats in a House of 140 is made to bite the dust with its vote share too shrinking and its State president losing both the seats he contested. 

However, Assam came as a consolation prize for the BJP as it could retain power in the State along with its allies though with reduced number of seats. It could surmount the anti-CAA sentiments prevailing in the State with smart alliances. 

Puducherry is a classic case of a regional party, AINRC of N Rangaswamy, with the help of BJP capturing power. The Congress that ruled the Union Territory put up its worst performance winning just two seats in the 30-member House.
The people have given clear verdicts in all five places. They have resoundingly rejected the blatant efforts of polarization to capture power. It is a clear sign of the power of regional parties who strike a better chord with people. There is yet another subtle message from these elections: The key to power in the Centre is probably with the regional parties. 

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