Saturday, August 13, 2022

Battling for Power

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 10, 2021 10:00 pm

With the election schedule for four states and a Union Territory announced there is a lot at stake for major national and regional parties. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will make an all-out effort to establish its dominance in Southern and Eastern India by working to capture Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Congress will work ardently to retain Puducherry and grab Kerala and Assam. Among the regional parties, it is a battle of survival for both the Trinamul Congress and AIADMK. The election also provides a chance for DMK to rule Tamil Nadu once again. On the other hand, Left parties are hopeful to remain in power in Kerala and at the same time are expecting an improved performance in West Bengal. Among these electoral battles, West Bengal has generated most interest amongst poll-watchers. The emergence of BJP in West Bengal has brought a new dimension to this battle. It is for the first time in the history of Independent India that BJP is steadfastly in the race to gain power in Bengal. Till 2016, BJP had a mere signboard presence in the state but the scenario took a turn during the last general elections when BJP captured 18 out of 42 seats in the state. After the Lok Sabha results, BJP is hopeful of a much better show in the Assembly elections too, but the job will not be easy. To rule West Bengal, BJP will have to defeat a formidable Mamata Banerjee. Mamata’s popularity in Bengal is unquestionable, she single-handedly ended the Left Rule in the state. To many, she is the undisputed queen of Bengal politics. Moreover, her party has been in power in the state for the last ten years and so the electoral battle is evenly poised.

Among the states that are going to polls, the Congress will try hard to regain both Assam and Kerala and to retain Puducherry. But a good show at the recently concluded municipal polls by the ruling coalition in Kerala has shown that the task will be difficult for the Congress. The state has the tradition of not bringing the same party to power for two consecutive terms however, this year according to many political pundits the trend may be reversed, mainly because of a disjointed Congress party. In Assam, notwithstanding the alliance between the Congress, AIUDF and the Left parties, BJP appears to be a formidable force against its opponents. The opposition alliance became weaker as two regional parties also formed an alliance and turned the electoral battle into a triangular contest. The Congress is not on a strong wicket in Puducherry too, despite ruling it for years the party in the Union Territory is plagued with infighting which brought down the V. Narayanswamy-led government just before the elections. In Tamil Nadu, the electoral battle will be confined mainly between the two regional parties, namely DMK and AIADMK. DMK has had a slight advantage over the AIADMK after the death of Jaylalithaa however, as BJP is now strongly behind AIADMK, DMK has lost the edge. In such a scenario, whatever the poll outcome may be, it will have a significant impact on Indian Politics in the days to come.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Mar 10, 2021 10:00:48 pm