West Bengal have never before witnessed a serious four corner contest in a parliamentary election. This time around, Trinamool Congress have fielded their candidates in all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal after they swept the Panchayat polls held last year. The Left Front, too, seems to be more united after the humiliation they received in the rural panchayat elections. Congress is seen as a silent spider who are webbing their net slowly and gaining ground under the new dynamic leadership of Adhir Chowdhury. Lastly, the Bharatiya Janata Party, a resurgent party in Bengal, riding on the wave of anti incumbency or so-called Modi wave are jubilant and are hoping to make a mark in the ongoing parliamentary elections.
Trinamool Congress is deeply dependent on the one man show – Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee although her charisma has been dented by so many incidents that have taken place in her 3 years rule. This is clear from the last bye election when her support base seems to have dipped even in Muslim dominated areas. Her arrogance, intolerance behavior and way of functioning has certainly not been acceptable to a section of educated voters especially in urban areas. Her inimitable style of functioning is viewed by some people as unbecoming of a Chief Minister but a leader of the opposition party. It is widely believed that if Mamata is to remain in power for long, she has to change herself and make more presentable to India and the world as a face of Bengal.
The left in West Bengal is day by day becoming irrelevant in the changing world and their rural base support has been dipping all the time since last General elections. The old guards of left seem to have lost their teeth and unable to draw crowd as they are singing the same old songs. The ideology has lost its relevance as the new generation is not inclined to the old and faded music. In the sixties and early seventies, the left were seen as a saviour to poor people of Bengal but after coming into power in 1977 they took some revolutionary steps that paved the way for remaining in power for long 34 years.
The Congress is facing a huge challenge not only in Bengal but nationally as corruption and price rise are likely to hit them hard in the polls. But in Bengal, Congress seems to be rejuvenated more glorious than ever under the new leadership of Adhir Chowdhury who was compared with Robin-hood in his own district. They hope that they will do fairly good in this election despite atrocities and fear politics of the ruling party in Bengal.
The BJP are believed to have dented into the vote banks of all parties and they are hopeful that they are not only play a spoilsport for other parties but will win a few seats on their own strength. Their probable Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi is expected to visit for the fourth time in Bengal and there is no doubt that a hype is created among the voters that BJP are going to get the power in the centre and thus they would be able to encroach further deep into remote Bengal.
All parties are optimistic about their future. In a polarized state like Bengal it is very difficult to predict the results hence let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait for May 16 when India would know the future trend of Indian politics.