BengalLok Sabha elections

TMC Poised for Major Gains: Second-Best Tally Since 2014 on the Horizon?

Analysts predict a challenging election for BJP in Bengal, with expectations of falling short of their 2019 tally, while TMC aims for a strong performance to bolster their position in a potentially hung parliament. The Left and Congress are also in the fray, vying to secure a modest number of seats amid the state's dynamic political landscape

Kolkata: Out of the fifty-seven constituencies going for voting in the seventh and last phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2024, nine seats in West Bengal will also be polled. Bengal, with its 42 seats, is the center of attention due to the belief that there might be a hung parliament, and the seats that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secure from the state will have a major impact on the formation of a new government at the center. The ruling TMC has fielded candidates in all the seats, while it is also part of the INDIA bloc, with the view that the higher the number of seats it secures, the better it can bargain within the bloc. The question for the BJP is whether they can repeat or improve their tally of 18 seats from 2019. Additionally, how many seats can the Left and Congress secure?

Soon after the campaigning for the final phase ended, eNewsroom spoke to several political analysts, journalists, activists, and professors to understand which party is expected to secure how many seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

Pratik, who runs the news portal, says, “The Left plus Congress can win 3-4 seats, while the BJP may not cross into double digits.” This claim is contrary to the prediction of well-known political strategist Prashant Kishore, who said that the BJP will improve its tally in Bengal. Pratik added, “The rest will be TMC’s. However, this depends on how many votes the Left garners in Bengal. The more the Left’s vote share increases, the higher TMC’s tally will be, or it will reduce the BJP’s seats.” He further explained, “For the best results for the ruling TMC, Mamata Banerjee or TMC’s anti-incumbency votes should go to the Left or Congress instead of the BJP.”

Suman Sengupta of Sahomon Newsportal predicts, “The BJP may get 12-15 seats, and the Left may not win any seats. Congress may get one or two seats, while TMC will secure around 28-30 seats.” Suman also believes that all nine seats going to be voted on June 1 in Bengal will be won by TMC.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lost his charm. Whatever he is saying and doing is not resonating well with voters, and the situation is the same in Bengal. I do not understand how some people claim that the BJP will get more seats; it will not get more than 12 seats in any scenario,” emphasized Sabir Ahamed of Pratichi NGO. He elaborated, “North Bengal, which used to be a BJP stronghold, is no longer so. The citizenship card did not yield much result for the party, as most of the Matuas are with TMC this time. There is no significant number of applications for citizenship by the Matuas either. The Left can get 2-3 seats, and TMC will win 28 seats.”

“There is no local leader in the BJP who can lead the party across Bengal. They were heavily dependent on central leadership, especially on PM Modi. When the party’s main leader could not make an impact among the voters, you can understand how difficult it would be for the party in a state like Bengal, where every single voter is politically aware,” stated Mohammed Reyaz, a journalist turned academician.

He added, “I will not give any numbers, as I am not active in the field now. However, I can see that the BJP will secure much fewer seats than in 2019. I even got information that the party’s state president, Sukanta Majumdar, may find it difficult to hold onto his seat.”

Since the 2021 assembly polls, when the BJP had heavily invested in Bengal, a movement called No Vote To BJP took place to prevent the ‘fascist’ party from coming to power in Bengal. For the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, a campaign to Defeat BJP is ongoing in the state, with some members of the No Vote to BJP movement being involved.

“I do not see the BJP getting more than 12 seats from our state. We are working hard and trying to reach almost every voter to expose the real face of the saffron brigade through social media and on-ground activities. We hold several public meetings in all the constituencies,” informed Mahasweta Samajdhar of the Defeat BJP Campaign. Mahasweta provided strong reasons to support her claim, “In 2021, when the BJP won 77 seats in the Bengal assembly polls, it did not consider it an achievement and immediately removed Dilip Ghosh. Dilip was building organizational structure in Bengal, which halted got halted soon after assembly poll results. Without an organization, the BJP cannot repeat its 2019 performance. In 2019, the BJP received CPM’s votes from those angry with TMC’s violence. BJP is not a cadre-based party in Bengal.”

“The second most important part is that Modi’s ‘Didi-O-Didi’ taunt has left a lasting impact on the minds of women in Bengal. A significant portion of Bengalis are cultured; they respect women and do not appreciate such behavior. This will impact the election as well. Moreover, CPM has fielded good candidates, which will help them regain their vote bank,” she added.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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