Sarada Lahangir

A unique opposition unity will be witnessed during the West Bengal assembly elections. Here regional political satraps from across the country are going to throw their weight behind not only the Trinamool Congress but Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too. The list of those in the campaign trail for Mamata include Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar, Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha President Hemant Soren, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav.

The Battle Between Modi and Mamata

According to Trinamool Congress sources, Sharad Pawar has fixed the dates. The election in Bengal is now considered a battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee. In such a situation, anti-BJP parties have started coming out in support of Mamata across the country. Interestingly, dumping the Congress-Left-ISF alliance, they are standing with the TMC.

Campaign Without Election

Left parties are usually with the Congress and against the NDA-BJP at the national level. At the same time, NCP, JMM, RJD, and SP have been with the Congress before. It is seen for the first time in Bengal that even though these parties are not contesting the elections, their big leaders are supporting the TMC. The border of Bengal is shared by Jharkhand and Bihar and attempts will be made to lure people there as well as the people of Uttar Pradesh living there through the leaders of their home state.

Couple of days ago when Tejaswi Yadav met Mamata Benerjee, he had told clearly said “Our first priority is to stop BJP in West Bengal. Lot of people from Bihar are living here. We will be appealing them to vote for Mamataji. We have to save Bengal.” There is a significant Bihari and Yadav votes in West Bengal. “We try to get those votes for Mamataji “he added.

According to the 2011 census report on language, West Bengal has a non Bengali population of 12577263, which is 13.78 % of the total population (91276115). Out of which, 6356059(6.96%) are Hindi speaking and these Hindi speaking voters are mostly the migrants from North India like Rajastan, UP ,Bihar etc, and from neighboring state like Jharkhand. Akhilesh and Tejaswi‘s campaign supporting Mamata might lure the hindi speaking voters. A sizeable number of people from Yadav community are also there in Bengal so they might influence those voters as well.

As West Bengal shares boarder with Jharkhand, reasonable Santhali population is there in Bengal too. As per the 2011 census 2429073 (2.66%) Santhali population had been recorded. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s campaign in this election may help Mamata to get Santhali votes.

Growing BJP Is A Problem

Elections in Bengal have also been fought between TMC and the Left. National parties like Congress or BJP did not play a big role here for many years. Ever since Mamata Banerjee formed her own party, the Congress has shrunk in the state. At the same time, before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP did not even have a big base. However, now BJP has become a major challenge for TMC. In such a situation, stopping its march has become a difficult task for Mamata and the other alliances as well.

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