As all eyes are set on the 2021 Bengal civic polls and amidst the intense fight between TMC and BJP, Mamata Banerjee has proved that she should not be taken lightly and she has bounced back by winning by-polls in the three constituencies of Bengal posing a huge challenge for the BJP who has been gaining grounds in the state.
West Bengal By-polls was a litmus test for the BJP and the Trinamool Congress and the latter has swept all the three constituencies of Kharagpur Sadar, Karimpur and Kaliaganj. The three on three wins of the TMC has paved way for Mamata to retain her grip in the Bengal. In the three constituencies, both the BJP and Trinamool were up for an intense fight and Mamata Banerjee seemed to have won over the people there leaving the BJP behind. Since the Lok Sabha elections both the parties have been trying their best to outdo one another and seem like the strategies of Mamata Banerjee have worked to a certain extent. Although it’s still early to jump to any conclusion as all eyes are on the 2021 civic polls in Bengal. However, the BJP has said that the manner in which the polls were conducted in Bengal is biased.
The BJP performed extremely well and had bagged 18 seats in the Lok Sabha elections while the TMC only won 22 out of the 42. Post that the saffron party made several efforts to sustain themselves in the state and gained immense popularity amongst people despite of TMC trying to pull them down. Banerjee after the by-polls is basking in glory and she has said that the arrogance of the BJP got rejected. The win is significant for the TMC as they had never won before in Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar. In Kaliganj , the BJP's Kamal Chandra Sarkar was leading earlier Trinamool candidate, Tapan Deb Singha, defeated him and won by a narrow margin of over 2,000 votes. This constituency was a big challenge to the TMC as in May the BJP had won the parliamentary seat from here by a huge 58,000 votes.
Since this was a prelude to the 2021 civic polls and everyone wanted to see where the BJP and the TMC stand in Bengal, now the BJP has to pull up their socks after the results and try and not ruin their own efforts of winning the hearts of people. The BJP had made steady inroads in the state and also won the trust of people despite Banerjee’s efforts of ruining them. However, Banerjee have seemed to have cashed in on the discontent created by BJP’s NRC were the refugees in fear of losing the roof on top so they voted for the TMC.
This comes after Banerjee's decision of giving land rights land rights to refugees who came after 1971 and has since been depending on the state Government, The timing of the announcement of her decision has to be noted. It came just before the results of the Bengal By-polls. It is evident that Didi has upped her ante against the BJP and their narratives of the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Apart from this, the West Bengal government has begun issuing something called the government has started issuing what is called “non-subsidised ration card”. This would not give the holders access to subsidized food but will serve as another proof for identity and address. This new identification is being aggressively propagated and pushed to be used and also to be linked with Aadhaar, Voter ID and PAN cards. The councilors have been telling the people that this card is essential in case NRC is implemented. So Didi already began upping her game the moment she knew that the By poll is nearing. So it could be that the BJP’s NRC card did not work for real in the state.
To retain her power the CM was constantly fighting as the BJP has been showing their strongholds all across the state of Bengal and Banerjee became insecure. Banerjee has said that BJP could not make it because of its constant talks about the NRC and eradication of the illegal immigrants. She feels that the people did not approve of it.
Earlier during the voting in the Karimpur constituency poll violence was observed and a BJP candidate Jay Prakash Majumdar was attacked heckled and thrown in the bushes filled with thorns by the side of the road by alleged Trinamool supporters and was caught on camera. However, the Trinamool denies any such allegations. So there has been a lack of proper administration during the times of polls. We had seen it even during the LS polls where several incidents of poll violence and injuries due to it were reported from several parts of the state. But nothing has changed. Traditionally the Karimpur seat was a CPM stronghold. Later, TMC candidate Mahua Maitra won the seat in 2016 Assembly elections. Post that the seat was vacant as Maitra was elected to the Lok Sabha this May.
Earlier Banerjee attacked the BJP by remarking on the Maharashtra situation and said that everyone should function according to the Constitution but it’s not happening. She also spoke about the Governors of Maharashtra and Bengal and in Bengal, she said that the position of the Governor is being misused. This comes after Governor Jagdeep Dhankar leaving the Assembly after his address. Mamata and the Governor have been at war for some time now and their relationship has worsened. Now she will have an upper hand in almost everything after her victory in the By-polls but it is to be seen if she manages to continue with her popularity in the state.