The heating West Bengal legislative election 2021 has seen various ups and downs from the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee getting her leg injured to attacks on BJP ministers and their convoys while campaigning, respectively. The state has 294 assembly seats (of which 68 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 16 for the Scheduled Tribes) or constituents where the polling was held from March 27 to April 29 and from 8am to 6pm in eight phases. Leaving no stone unturned to get into power, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) made its campaigns interactive while battling the incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led TMC (Trinamool Congress party) whose leaders recently approached and urged state Election Commission office to club remaining phases due to rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
There are a total of 23 districts in the state which comprise the newly constituted Kalimpong district (formed on February 14, 2017), Jhargram district (formed on April 4, 2017), and in 2017 only, the divide of the former Bardhaman district into Purba Bardhaman district and Paschim Bardhaman district. In phase 8, voting was being conducted in 11,860 polling stations of 35 constituencies which saw 75.7% voter turnout till 5pm as per the Election Commission.
Politics of West Bengal
The state has been widely dominated by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC or TMC) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Since 1980, the state continues to be in isolation from national politics. The regional narrative has always been ruled by Leftist ideologies. In 2011, Mamta Banerjee shattered this trend and has been in power in the state for 10 straight years. TMC secured more than two-thirds majority holding 211, whereas BJP gained only three seats of 294-member seats in the 2016 state legislative assembly election. As the TMC looks ahead to continue and win for the third consecutive term, the BJP has gained attention as many TMC leaders/MLAs officially joined BJP ahead of the state elections.
Since 2011, the CPI(M), in coalition, with Congress has slowly been diminishing in the state. The BJP tries to field themselves to make a debut and come in power in Bengal. It is going to be a watershed moment if the BJP comes into incumbency and the 2021 assembly election will be remembered for a massive shift in the political narrative of West Bengal.
Key candidates and constituencies
There are four Independent candidates in the queue. The emphasis is on five assembly constituencies in Kolkata north, namely Beleghata, Jorsanko, Shyampukur, Maniktala, Kashipur-Belgachia.
The state minister for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja is battling against BJP’s Sandipan Biswas and AIFB’s Jiban Prakash Saha in Shyampukur seat. TMC has placed Paresh Paul against BJP’s Kashinath Biswas and CPM’s Rajib Biswas in Beleghata. BJP has listed Meena Devi Purohit against TMC’s Vivek Gupta and Congress’ Ajmal Khan in Jorasnko.
The TMC has fielded Atin Ghosh in Kashipur-Belgachia against BJP candidate Sibaji Sinha Roy and CPM’s Pratip Dasgupta. A close fight in the Maniktala Assembly seat where state Consumer Affairs Minister and TMC veteran Sadhan Pandey will battle former India footballer and BJP candidate Kalyan Chaubey and CPM’s Rupa Bagchi.
According to political experts, there is a tough fight in the Bolpur Assembly seat of Birbhum where the BJP has named Anirban Ganguly against state minister Chandranath Sinha. Nanoor, Murari and Labhpur are some of the other constituencies where interesting results are expected. Some similar battles between the incumbent TMC and the opposition BJP and Samyukta Morcha (Congress-CPM-ISF alliance) candidates in Malda district and 11 seats in Murshidabad district.
Verdict declaration in the West Bengal state assembly election 2021
The date of counting votes of the West Bengal assembly election is May 2. The counting of votes will start in the early morning on the same day and the final results will be declared by evening.