Poll violence in West Bengal pose grim scenario across the State

Published : May 08, 2019 09:33 am | By: Priya Ghosh

Poll violence in West Bengal pose grim scenario across the State


The fifth phase of the national elections got over and with that the situation in Bengal became evident where incidents of violence disrupted the polling process in several regions in all five phases. People of the state have started living in fear due to the hostile situation created by the Mamata Banerjee led TMC and its goons. They are well prepared for a change in governance.

 India has begun voting and the fifth phase of national elections just concluded. The fourth phase which happened a few days back, took place in 71 constituencies cutting across nine states.

However unlike other states the state of West Bengal is witnessing a bitter battle between the BJP and the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress. Bengal witnessed unprecedented violence in all five phases of the voting and  It has been a grave situation where TMC goons have been going out of control and attacking the polling booths and injuring people.  Poll related violence in the state continued despite the fact that central forces replaced the state police.The fifth leg of polling in West Bengal saw  seven parliamentary constituencies voting  with  voters casted votes in   Bangaon, Barrackpur, Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore,Hooghly and Arambagh . Just like all the other four phases Bengal witnessed widespread violence even in the fifth phase with seen widespread violence, including rigging of booths, destruction of EVMs and unprecedented attacks on BJP candidates. The saffron party accused the TMC of initiating violence and demanded for fresh polling after a scuffle which was reported in Barrackpore where the BJP voters were allegedly not allowed to exercise their vote and they also accused the TMC goons of booth capturing. There have also been incidents in the state liker hurling of bombs, manhandling of polling agent as well as a polling agent was badly beaten up. As per officials,  there were also episodes of bombings which happened outside a polling booth at Hingli in the Bangaon constituency which was followed by a scuffle between the BJP and the  TMC where two people were injured.

Earlier the fourth phase saw a decline in the voting turn out in the state compared to other states. During the fourth phase in Bengal’s Asansol, the vehicle of BJP candidate and Union Minister Babul Supriyo was attacked. There were incidents of booth capturing in several areas as well. Incidents of violence were also reported from Birbhum district of Bengal where some BJP workers were allegedly injured by Trinamool goons. The central forces had to fire in the air to stop the chaos.  All the five phases in Bengal saw sporadic violence unleashed buy the TMC and  lack of law and order in the state. The violence has intensified over the years and this time voters were attacked and also people were killed painting a very gruesome picture . The people across the states are now traumatised to even step out of their home sto vote.

 The situation in Bengal has been deteriorating in terms of violence under the leadership of Mamta Banerjee and people are eventually beginning to see that they had made a huge mistake by electing her as the leader of the state.  The BJP has already started making inroads in Bengal from the 2014 panchayat elections and is gaining momentum in the state. Aggressive campaigning by BJP chief Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi himself is proving to be fruitful as people in large numbers have been turning up for the public meetings which are being organized by the saffron party. The appeasement policy of Banerjee is also becoming increasingly prominent and in order to increase her vote bank she is supporting the Rohingya immigrants whom are the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh Not just this but she has been constantly getting the support the minority community and securing their votes. This has made her build a solid vote bank and it is the BJP who has challenged her and her party after a long time.  The BJP has outdone the Congress and the Left in the state to become the largest opposition party

There have also been reports given by BJP insiders that it has been observed that almost every month members and local leaders of the TMC and the Left party are joining the BJP and increasing the strength of the saffron party. As per reports, approximately 1600 TMC supporters and grass root level leaders left the TMC camp and joined the BJP in March.  The migrating of members from the TMC began after Mukul roy who was once considered as very close to Mamata Banerjee left TMC and joined the BJP .The leaders who switched parties all allege that Banerjee runs her party in an autocratic fashion and that they were unhappy with her. The slow and steady growth of the BJP in the state has impressed many and they believe that it is time for the exit of Mamata Banerjee.

 However as much as we know that the BJP has made efforts to make its presence in the state and has successfully done so and the vote share of the party will also increase but that will not be enough for the saffron party to stop Trinamool Congress from winning in Bengal in the 2019. As per an opinion poll, the party have chances of performing well in  North Bengal and in the southern district of North 24 Parganas. The vote share of the party in this region is expected to jump from 17.06 percent in 2014 to 26 percent. Five years ago the BJP won in Dasrjeeling and Asansol and this year the party could win Raiganj, Darjeeling, Balurghat, Krishnanagar, Bongaon, Asansol  Barrackpur and Alipurduar.All said and done may be not this year but in the years to come West Bengal could be entering a new chapter with the BJP in the forefront pushing the Trinamool to the margins. The other parties in the state like the Congress and left have already lost significance so it will be easier for the saffron party to eventually outshine the TMC and emerge successful in the state.

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