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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Little One thing for All in Bhabanipur

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It was anticipated. Folks and political watchers had been solely discussing the margin that Didi would possibly register. Now it’s recognized to all that Mamata Banerjee has gained the Bhabanipur by-election by the highest-ever margin since 2011. So one other huge win by Mamata, one other present of power by the Trinamool Congress. Ministers, MPs, MLAs, and eventually lakhs of social gathering staff, are visibly relieved after the much-talked-about embarrassment in Nandigram.

The BJP did its greatest, placing up a spirited battle in opposition to the mighty Mamata. Though the inference was drawn by the BJP, nobody within the social gathering would dream of an April repeat and creating historical past. Sure, the attitude and floor actuality in Nandigram was completely different. There the social gathering had the bottom join and organisational abilities of Suvendu Adhikari to financial institution on.

A fast have a look at the statistics in Bhabanipur makes it simpler to know why Nandigram was slightly a dangerous gamble for Mamata.

ALSO READ: TMC Spent Over Rs 154.28 Crore for Campaigning in West Bengal Meeting Polls

Bhabanipur has been a TMC bastion ever since 2011. It gained this seat within the historic 2011 Meeting elections when Mamata dethroned the Left. Mamata gained the following by-election too. She acquired one other snug victory from Bhabanipur in 2016. In 2015 Kolkata Municipal elections, the TMC gained seven wards in Bhabanipur, whereas the BJP may solely handle to tug via in ward quantity 70.

However BJP councilor Asim Basu converted to the TMC camp afterward. It was a problem for all these councilors to make sure an enormous victory for the social gathering supremo as something opposite would have price them their seats within the company elections. It was a significant problem for cupboard minister Firhad Hakim, too, as he was desirous to retain the coveted publish of Kolkata Mayor.

A united Trinamool made positive that the social gathering’s loyal voters got here out and reached the polling cubicles. Because of this ward 77 witnessed most voter turnout. TMC staff additionally ensured most voter turnout from slums throughout the meeting constituency the place individuals have been loyal to the social gathering for quite a few social schemes floated by the Mamata authorities.

ALSO READ | Bhabanipur to Bharat for Mamata? Bengal CM Wins Do-or-Die Bypoll, Betters 2011 File

In distinction, voter turnout was visibly skinny from three wards — 63,70 and 74 – which have a big chunk of non-Bengali voters, a bloc the BJP was banking on. It’s troublesome to analyse this low turnout. What performed spoilsport — voter apathy or dangerous climate?

The BJP blames it on alleged voter intimidation and “faux voting”. In a post-result press launch, the social gathering mentioned: “Violence was perpetrated upon BJP staff by TMC cadres with assist of TMC ministers, who had been brazenly intimidating frequent individuals from popping out to vote. Sadly, the Election Fee did nothing to allay the fears of voters. The polls, significantly in Bhabanipur, had been marred by rampant faux voting.”

The TMC has refuted the BJP’s allegations, whereas the Election Fee too denied alleged incidents of “faux voting”.

In the end, the arithmetic clicked in favour of the TMC, however the BJP hasn’t been left empty-handed both. Though the state BJP management was in opposition to holding the by-election citing the pandemic as an excuse, social gathering bosses in Delhi maintained strategic silence. BJP insiders in Delhi say the social gathering, in truth, wished to get extra politically energetic within the state to spice up morale following the embarrassing defeat in Meeting elections and alleged post-poll violence.

BJP leaders in Delhi realised that until they hit the streets, it will be troublesome to re-energise the bottom pressure earlier than subsequent yr’s municipal elections and Panchayat elections due in 2023, that in flip could be a prelude to the 2024 normal elections.

Slightly than threat pitting a heavyweight in opposition to Mamata, the BJP selected to gamble on Priyanka Tibrewal whose fierce authorized battle within the Excessive Courtroom ensured a CBI enquiry order into the alleged post-poll violence. By means of Tibrewal, the BJP wished to maintain the post-poll violence afresh in voter reminiscence all through the marketing campaign.

In its press launch, too, the Bengal BJP mentioned: “The elections had been held below an overbearing state administration, with darkish shadow of worry, intimidation and gloom of the post-poll violence hanging over the citizens.”

It was no shock when newly appointed state president Sukanta Majumdar, mentioned in a rally: “It was no post-poll violence. It was state-sponsored focused killing of a specific group.”

The BJP fielded central ministers Smriti Irani and Hardeep Sing Puri for campaigning in Bhabanipur; Manoj Tiwari and Sambit Patra had been additionally introduced in to woo non-Bengali voters. The BJP might have misplaced the election, but it surely has succeeded in conveying to the general public that it stands as the only real credible opposition to the TMC.

The final main stakeholder within the by-election was the Election Fee. It had come below hearth within the run-up to the 2021 Meeting elections over its determination to carry the polls in eight phases within the midst of a pandemic. The TMC dragged the EC to the dock over all its choices, together with the one on CRPF deployment to escort state officers.

The onus was on the EC this time to show the TMC mistaken. It stunned all stakeholder by saying the Bhabhanipur election schedule when it appeared that the pandemic wouldn’t allow one and that Mamata must surrender the CM’s chair since she couldn’t be elected to the Home inside six months of taking oath.

ALSO READ | ‘EC Closed Eyes and Ears’: Bengal BJP V-P Arjun Singh Alleges Rigging in Bhabanipur

It was the BJP this time that accused the EC of siding with Mamata. Talking to News18, state BJP vice-president and Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh mentioned the ballot panel has “fully failed” in its responsibility to carry truthful elections. “There was rampant rigging and sales space capturing, however surprisingly the Election Fee closed its eyes and ears. False voters had been caught on digicam however regardless of giving a written criticism, no motion was taken. We’re stunned with the stand of the ballot physique. I’ll actually take this matter to the very best stage of the social gathering,” he mentioned.

A extremely positioned Election Fee official in Delhi mentioned on situation of anonymity: “We simply wished to execute our constitutional obligations of being truthful to all involved. Now we have performed that.”

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