TMC regains ground; tribal and Dalit voters in some districts stay loyal to BJP

As Mamata Banerjee trounced the Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP) within the Bengal meeting polls, securing 213 of 292 seats in opposition to 77 by the BJP, the outcomes confirmed that Trinamool Congress (TMC) managed to regain the belief of many Hindu, tribal and Dalit voters who backed the saffron camp within the 2019 Lok Sabha polls within the south Bengal area which includes 240 meeting segments.

In north Bengal, however, two outstanding TMC ministers misplaced whereas BJP candidates stood its floor at 30 of the area’s 54 meeting segments the place id politics performed a key function.

The Election Fee’s (EC) information on Monday confirmed that TMC secured 47.9% of the votes polled throughout Bengal in opposition to the BJP’s share of 38.1 %, marking a distinction of 9.Eight proportion factors. Even in 2011, when the TMC and Congress fought as allies and ousted the Left Entrance authorities, the completely different in vote share was 7.4 %.

In 2011 and 2016, TMC had received 184 and 211 seats respectively. The BJP couldn’t win any meeting seat in 2011 however wrested three in 2016. In 2019, the saffron camp rotated and received 18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats. When it comes to these outcomes, the BJP was forward in 121 meeting segments however the image modified in most districts throughout an unprecedented eight-phase election.

In each north and south Bengal, the BJP bagged sizeable votes in constituencies situated near the Indo-Bangladesh border the place Hindus migrated from East Pakistan both after 1947 or the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Battle.

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This occurred even in Malda and Murshidabad districts the place Muslims are within the majority.

In Malda district, the place Muslins comprise 51.27% of the inhabitants, BJP bagged the Habibpur seat with 47.52 % votes whereas the TMC trailed with 37.66 %. This was among the many 5 seats the BJP wrested in Malda whereas the remaining seven went to TMC.

In adjoining Murshidabad, which is a part of south Bengal, the Muslim inhabitants, at 66.28 %, is the very best amongst all districts in Bengal.

Bengal has 294 seats however polls have been held in 292 as two candidates at Jangipur and Samserganj in Murshidabad died of Covid-19 in mid-April. On Monday, the Election Fee (EC) deferred polling in these two seats for an indefinite interval. Earlier, it mentioned the polls can be held on Might 16.

In Murshidabad district, the BJP received two of the 20 seats the place polls have been held. These are the city constituencies of Murshidabad and Berhampore the place Hindus stay in giant numbers.

The BJP’s success in 2019 was credited largely to its capacity to achieve out to higher caste Hindus, tribal folks and Hindu Dalit or Namasudra voters. Of the registered SC communities, the Rajbanshis of north Bengal and Namasudras of south Bengal comprise the very best numbers. These are the 2 segments the BJP focused. The Matuas, a sub-caste, comprise round 4 % of the Namasudras. There are 14 extra SC communities in Bengal that aren’t a part of the Rajbanshis and Namasudras. To safe the votes of residents representing varied castes, sub-castes, religions and linguistic teams in just lately concluded contest, the TMC and BJP banked on strategic campaigns.

The hideout of armed cadres of the CPI(Maoist) within the final years of the Left Entrance regime and residential to a sizeable tribal inhabitants, the tough terrains of Jangalmahal — a area unfold throughout West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram districts — witnessed a tricky electoral battle final month. The BJP made most inroad in these south Bengal districts in 2019.

The state’s scheduled tribe (ST) inhabitants stood at 5.29 million throughout the 2011 census, accounting for about 5.8% of the entire inhabitants. Over the previous few years, Banerjee created separate welfare boards for tribal communities such because the Santhals, Lodhas and Kurmis. The districts witnessed new roads, hospitals, colleges and polytechnic faculties.

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The 13 meeting segments in Bankura district are a part of two Lok Sabha seats, Bankura and Bishnupur, that BJP had received in 2019. The occasion additionally bagged the Midnapore, Jhargram and Purulia seats.

The meeting ballot outcomes present that contest within the tribal belt was a tricky one with the BJP successful seven of the 12 seats in Bankura district. The competitors was so shut that within the Bankura meeting seat, the BJP defeated TMC’s Sayantika Banerjee, a younger actor, by lower than one per cent votes.

Within the adjoining Purulia district, the TMC managed to win three seats however the BJP wrested the remaining 9.

The TMC made up for this loss in West Midnapore. It retained 13 seats however the BJP received Kharagpur Sadar and Ghatal. The margin of BJP’s victory at Ghatal was solely 0.43 %.

Within the a lot smaller Jhargram district, the TMC retained all 4 seats.

“Our efficiency was not unhealthy in a number of south Bengal districts, similar to Purulia and Bankura. The TMC outdid us in an enormous manner in Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas districts,” mentioned BJP state normal secretary Sayantan Basu. Voters in Kolkata, the place TMC received all seats, and the three different districts Basu talked about, comprise Hindus in addition to Muslims who stay in some giant pockets.

Alongside spiritual polarisation, caste politics turned an essential consider giant components of North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts in south Bengal the place the Hindu Dalit neighborhood has a sizeable presence. In 2019, BJP wrested the Ranaghat and Bongaon Lok Sabha seats in Nadia and North 24 Parganas respectively, largely due to the assist from this neighborhood.

To draw Dalit voters, the saffron camp promised to implement the Citizenship Modification Act in Bengal in order that the Matua neighborhood, which is part of the bigger Namasudra neighborhood and who got here from Bangladesh as refugees, may very well be granted citizenship.

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Ballot outcomes present that BJP wrested 12 of the 14 meeting seats in Ranaghat and Bongaon Lok Sabha segments. In Nadia district, the BJP wrested 9 of the 17 meeting segments. The TMC retained the remaining.

BJP Lok Sabha member from Bongaon and head of the All India Matua Mahasangha, Shantanu Thakur mentioned, “The decision clearly exhibits that Matuas stayed by the BJP.”

In north Bengal, the scheduled caste Koch Rajbanshi neighborhood includes a sizeable part of voters, particularly in Cooch Behar district. Earlier than the polls, Banerjee introduced a number of sops for the neighborhood, which included a second campus of the Panchanan Barma College. Barma is essentially the most outstanding face of the Rajbanshi neighborhood since he carried out the primary motion in opposition to caste politics within the final century.

The BJP, too, reached out to the Rajbanshis and ballot outcomes confirmed that its efforts paid off. Nishith Pramanik, the BJP’s Cooch Behar Lok Sabha member who contested the meeting polls, received whereas tourism minister Goutam Deb and north Bengal growth minister Rabindranath Ghosh misplaced from Dabgram-Fulbari in Jalpaiguri district and Natabari in Cooch Behar district respectively.

Kolkata-based political science professor and election analyst Udayan Bandopadhyay mentioned full depletion within the vote financial institution of the Congress and Left events helped TMC and BJP in all these areas.

“Within the tribal belts, areas with excessive presence of the Namasudra neighborhood and the north Bengal districts, Congress and Left supporters voted both for BJP or TMC candidates by judging their power,” mentioned Bandopadhyay, referring to the scheduled tribes, the Namasudras of south Bengal and the Rajbanshis of north Bengal.

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