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Orthodox Hindu, tribal votes boost BJP's best Bengal tally

May 24, 2019 05:28 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi campaigns in West BengalWhile the TMC was able to maintain its hold on the southern and coastal parts of the state, the BJP is doing well in the northern and western parts of the state, all predominantly tribal areas.
Avishek Rakshit reports from Kolkata.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is headed to post its best-ever tally in West Bengal -- leading in 18 seats, thanks to a surge of votes from northern and western Bengal, backed by orthodox Hindus and tribals.

The Trinamool Congress faced disappointment as it led in 23 seats owing to factors like anti-incumbency, anti-Muslim sentiments and displeasure of the voters with the party at the grass-root level.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won only 2 seats while the TMC had sent 34 legislators.

The Congress is maintaining a lead in only one seat as compared to its tally of 4 seats in the previous Lok Sabha election while the Left Front seems to have been wiped out.

From preliminary estimates, political observers believe that the way the mandate is headed, the TMC's vote share may be in the range of 41% to 43% while the BJP's may be in the 36% to 40% range.

The Left Front and the Congress, it is expected, will be reduced to a single-digit vote share.

In the last general election, the TMC had a 39.05% vote share while the Left Front accounted for 29.71% of the total votes cast.

The BJP and the Congress had a 17.02% and 9.58% vote share, respectively.

 

While the TMC was able to maintain its hold on the southern and coastal parts of the state, the BJP is doing well in the northern and western parts of the state, all predominantly tribal areas.

"The trends are extremely encouraging for the BJP and its effects can be felt in the assembly polls," says political observer Sabyasachi Basu Chaudhury. The assembly election is slated for 2021.

The results indicate three basic trends -- firstly, the TMC wasn't able to handle its anti-incumbency and in-fighting particularly in the tribal areas; Left Front supporters had perceived the TMC as a greater danger than the BJP and voted for it; thirdly, en masse, a sentiment in the state was to give the BJP a chance to prove itself.

Avishek Rakshit
Source: source
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