8 Lessons I learnt from the Electoral History of West Bengal

1. People vote similarly for the Loksabha and the Vidhan Sabha.

From the below table, we can see that the people of West Bengal have voted for a similar choice in both Elections.
And if there has been a change in their choices it was reflected first in Loksabha and then in Vidhan Sabha.

  • From 1977 we can see that the Lefts were winning both the Loksabha and VidhanSabha simultaneously until 2006 Vidhan sabha.
  • Also there was change first in Loksabha 2009, and then Trinamool-INC won Assembly as well in 2011.
  • Similar thing happened in 1967 as well. Lefts first won the 1967 Loksabha and then the state Assembly Polls.
Electoral History of West Bengal, 1962 to 2019.

2. If people showed a different mandate in Loksabha then the state has witnessed a change in the Assembly as well.

  • If we study the Electoral History of West Bengal we can observe that the people of West Bengal vote in the same way in Loksabha and then in Vidhan Sabha. And whenever there has been anti-incumbency among the people then it has been reflected in the Loksabha first and then in the Vidhan sabha.
  • In 1967, the Left won massively in Loksabha and after that, they were able to win the West Bengal Assembly as well.
  • Similarly before removing Left from the State Assembly, Trinamool won the Loksabha in 2009 with a full Majority.
  • And the history is repeated again. In 2019 people gave a clear mandate to Didi with 22/42 seats.
  • But people also welcomed BJP with the red carpet of making them the key opposition in the state of West Bengal. The pattern also repeated in the recent election as well.

3. Less caste based Politics and more class based or Party dominated Politics.

  • Caste dominance was less in West Bengal from years.
  • Party dominance till the ground level can be very easily observed.
  • Therefore we see many party related violence in West Bengal.

4. No one wants to be out of power. No one wants to be left out.

  • One very important thing to observe is that in West Bengal Politics there has always been 2 key players. other minor players as well.
  • Earlier they were congress and left
  • After congress was split into trinamool, then it was mainly left and trinamool
  • In 2011 and 2016 it was Lefts and Trinamool
  • After 2016 left was 90% wiped out and BJP emerged as the key player.
  • Now the key players are Trinamool and BJP.
  • Bengal has party dominated society. So every one wants to be in power.
  • That is the reason people shifted to BJP from Left after 2016 when they realized that Left is not able to address their concerns.
“Dada Vs Didi”

5. Always a two corner fight and a clear majority government.

  • It would be interesting to know that in last 45 years there has always been a full majority government in West Bengal.
  • No hung assembly in last 45 years.
  • The major reason is the two corner fight.
  • People very well understand the direction of the wind and hence no situation of a hung assembly.

6. Once lost is lost for ever. (Congress and Left)

  • We have understood that there has always been 2 key players in the state politics.
  • Along with it whenever a third payer entered the ring and became the key player, the looser had been finished.
  • Like when Trinamool entered the State Politics, prominence of Congress lowered. But still Congress was a small player till 2011.
  • Similarly now when BJP had entered as the Key player, the Lefts have be wiped out almost.
  • Its very interesting to note that in last 45 year no party once lost was able to retain power in the future elections.
  • Once lost is lost for ever.

7. First an opposition Leader and then the Ruler.

  • Whenever there has been change in the Government, it was never a sudden change.
  • It was always a gradual change. Similar pattern with Lefts, Trinamool and now with the BJP as well.
  • Far before being the CM of Bengal, Jyoti Basu was the Opposition Leader in Bengal Assembly.
  • Similarly before Mamta Didi became the CM, she was also the Opposition Leader in the Assembly.
  • It would be interesting to see whether the pattern/trend/ history repeats with Suvendhu Adhikari or not!
BJP’s Suvendhu Adhikari Defeated CM Mamta Didi in Nandigram.

8. If you want to be the key player in Bengal Politics you need to show guts against the state government. People respects and responds to your courage.

  • We have now understood the pattern and nature of Bengal Politics.
  • If you want to capture the state, you need to go through the chronology which is,
  • first become the key player,
  • then opposition leader,
  • and then the CM.
  • And to become the Key player you have to show guts and win the confidence of the antigovernmental sentiments.
  • on 1960 lefts did the same and captured power, same happened with Didi and now BJP is repeating it.

I hope you have understood few patterns and trends that I have highlighted. Please let me know what you feel about this article in the comment section.


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It's simple to be Difficult!!! But it's difficult to be Simple!!!

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