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Stunning performance: TMC achieved victory against all odds

Kolkata: TMC victory, Left+Congress failure, BJP vote share
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TMC's performance was all the more creditable as it contested the election on its own, unlike in 2011 when it had allied with the Congress.


An analysis of the results indicates that TMC vote percentage also increased compared to the 2011 Assembly polls and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.


TMC secured 44.9% of the total votes polled, compared to 39% in 2011 and 39.03% in 2014.


Political observers noted that the TMC supremo achieved the stunning victory despite several odds stacked against her - Saradha scam, the Narada sting expose' and the Vivekananda flyover collapse.


Her slogan for development and various schemes for the common people caught the imagination of the voters. Referring to the charges of corruption against her party, Banerjee had yesterday dubbed it as "propaganda by a section of media."


"There is no corruption in Bengal. Bengal is a corruption-free state. The people have rejected the allegation," she had asserted.


On the other hand, the CPI(M)-led Left Front and Congress which had formed an alliance to fight the TMC have failed to put up a creditable show.


CPI-M's vote percentage fell to 19.7% this time from 29.58% in 2011 Assembly election. In 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the party had captured nearly 23% vote.


The CPI-M, this time, won only 26 seats while its other Left Front constituents RSP won 3 seats, Forward Bloc-2 and CPI-1.


The combined vote share of the Left Front was also reduced to nearly 24 per cent from 41 per cent in 2011. The Left Front had won 62 seats in 2011 Assembly polls, of which CPI(M) had won 40.


Mamata Banerjee had dubbed the coming together of CPI-M and Congress as the "greatest blunder" and said the people had rejected it.


The Congress, however, benefited from the alliance and bettered its vote percentage this time to 12.3%, compared to 9.09% in 2011, when it had contested in alliance with TMC. In 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Congress's vote share in the state was around 9.6%.


Poll analysts said it appeared that the people rejected the alliance between the former rivals because "it had come together with a single agenda of defeating the TMC".


On whether the much-touted Left-Congress alliance has failed, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said, "I do not think so. To understand the reason, we need to do a deep assessment of the results".


RSP, a Left Front partner, was forthcoming in admitting that the people rejected the alliance.


The CPI-M had gone overboard on the alliance with the Congress, even at the cost of Left partners. They had forgotten their old friends. The result shows that people have not accepted this alliance, RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami said.


Reacting to the alliance's poor performance, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "A defeat is a defeat. I don't want to give any excuse for it. I don't want to go into any blame game. The people believed it is better to vote for Mamata Banerjee."


The BJP's vote percentage had come down from nearly 17 per cent in 2014 to 10.2 per cent this time but it did not benefit the alliance in a significant way. On the other hand, TMC's vote percentage had gone up by nearly six per cent.


Notwithstanding the erosion in its vote share compared to 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP's performance was encouraging as the party managed to win three seats for the first time in the state assembly. Earlier, the BJP had won twice in by-poll.

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