A spanner in the works of the Bharatiya Janata Party juggernaut in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was left humbled by the massive inroads made by the BJP in the state this Lok Sabha election. The TMC did win Bengal, with 22 seats, but the BJP win 18 seats is now breathing down its neck. Through the month-and-half election process, Mamata upheld an enduring onslaught on the BJP's efforts to widen its base in Bengal, which ultimately culminated in violence at BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata on 14 May.
Did Mamata Banerjee win?
A key player in (failed) efforts to form a third front against the BJP, Mamata is West Bengal chief minister. A member of the West Bengal Assembly, Mamata would have to quit the Vidhan Sabha of the state if she wished to contest and eventually won from a seat to the Lok Sabha. This, it may be remembered, is what Narendra Modi did as Gujarat chief minister in 2014. However, this process is not required now, as Mamata did not contest the Lok Sabha elections.
The first seat Mamata ever contested and won from, Jadavpur, has been won by the Trinamool's first-time candidate, Mimi Chakraborty. Chakraborty, an actor and a new political entrant, received 6,88,472 votes which amounted for 47.91 percent of the vote share. Considering her newness in the field, Chakraborty's success may, to a large degree, be attributed to Mamata's legacy and promise.
The South Kolkata seat, from which Mamata has won every Lok Sabha election she contested since 1991 to 2011, has been won by the TMC's Mala Roy, who won 5,73,119 votes and 47.5 percent of the electorate's share. Roy is a trusted lieutenant of Mamata's and has been a member of the mayoral council of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
So while Mamata's party and her selection of candidates did see victory from the two seats she herself has contested from, Mamata herself did not win from any seat in this election.
Congratulations to the winners. But all losers are not losers. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs matched
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 23, 2019
Sense of disappointment
As trends showed a saffron surge in Bengal, Mamata's residence in south Kolkata's Kalighat has worn a deserted look with just a handful of Trinamool Congress supporters gathered outside.
The scene was no different at the party's state headquarters off EM Bypass in eastern part of the city, where except guards and few policemen, no TMC supporter or party leader could be seen.
"We didn't expect such a result in Bengal. Our party supremo had given a call for winning 42 seats, we had hoped that we would improve our tally. But the results are completely unexpected. It seems we failed to gauge the strong undercurrent in Bengal," a TMC leader, who did not wish to be named, told PTI.
The party is witnessing a downward slide in Lok Sabha seats for the first time since 2009, when it surged ahead of the Left with 19 seats.
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Updated Date: May 24, 2019 12:06:25 IST