The saffron camp is celebrating already because after 1999, for the first time one of the BJP candidates has managed to secure a seat in West Bengal Assembly. But is it the right prism to view the results of the hotly-debated Assembly bypolls in Bengal? No. Let me explain why.
2011: Basirhat South. TMC-Congress alliance candidate was sabotaged by an Independent (a dissident of the Congress). Left Front won the seat.
May, 2014. Lok Sabha elections: Left was nowhere in the scene as BJP took a lead of 32000 votes from this assembly segment. TMC came a distant second.
Assembly bypolls held on 13 September: Not only did Trinamool manage to cover the margin of 30000 votes, Dipendu Biswas (TMC candidates) was leading till the 10th round in the polls. BJP scraped through by only 1700 odd votes.
Takeaway: Trinamool has increased its votes in Basirhat South and BJP has eaten into the non-TMC votes.
2011: TMC-Congress alliance candidate Sikha Mitra won from this seat with a thumping majority.
May, 2014: Somen Mitra quit TMC in January and was Congress LS candidate for Kolkata North where this assembly segment falls. Congress managed a lead of 1400 votes prompting Sikha Mitra to resign as MLA.
Assembly bypolls held on 13 September: Senior most leaders of BJP (including party President Amit Shah) came here to campaign. Personal attacks were made at Mamata Banerjee. Newspapers declared Trinamool is losing its popularity in Kolkata. Result? Trinamool wins by a margin of 14000 votes.
Takeaway: Trinamool increased its votes by over 15000 votes. People have clearly voted in favour of Mamata Banerjee. BJP has once again eaten into Left votes.
BJP’s “Modi magic” has waned because of which their lead in Basirhat South has decreased significantly and they got a drubbing in Chowringhee. They may have won a seat, but capturing power in Bengal is still a distant dream for Sanghis.
Trinamool’s popularity is clearly on the rise. No matter what ABP Ananda and a few overactive Facebook/Twitter users from Calcutta and suburbs want others to believe.