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Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Left-Cong Combine, Not AIMIM, Will Play the Role of Vote-Cutters in Bengal Assembly Elections
New Age Islam Special Correspondent
16 December 2020
The countdown for the 2021 Bengal Assembly elections has begun and speculations about the prospects of different political parties in the polls are being made. Surveys have been conducted. The participation of the AIMIM is almost final. And this has raised the concern of the secularists as they fear that the AIMIM will eat into the secular votes and pave the way for the victory of the BJP.
The policy of the AIMIM has been to work for the consolidation of its base in Muslims irrespective of whether it harms the secular parties or helps the BJP. So long as the AIMIM gains, everything is fine for them.
But one fact should be kept in mind that the AIMIM has made it clear that it will stick to a Muslim centric politics and does not believe in Dalit-Muslim politics which Maulana Salman Nadvi suggested to Owaisi recently. So, Owaisi will field his candidates only in the constituencies where the Muslims form a decisive population. It has already started campaigning in the Muslim-dominated impoverished region of Murshidabad.
Therefore, like in Bihar the AIMIM will field candidates only in Muslim dominated constituencies of Murshidabad, Birbhum and Kolkata districts and even may win some seats.
But it will not field candidates in all the 294 seats of the state as it knows that it will lose deposits in those constituencies as it did in Pranpur in Bihar.
So even the AIMIM causes the division of secular votes, it will do so in only a dozen of seats.
But the case of the Congress and the Left is confusing. They have formed an alliance that claims to fight both the ruling TMC and the BJP. The Congress has 23 seats in the currently Assembly and the Left Front led by CPIM has only 24 seats. The Congress has ruled the state for 25 years and the Left Front has ruled the state for 33 long years. But during the last two elections they have been almost decimated by the TMC.
Since they have been the ruling party before the TMC took over, they will field their candidates in all the 294 constituencies. But going by their mass base at the moment, they have their hold only in about 50 seats. During the last five years both the parties have not been able to salvage their image and there is no wave in their favour. Therefore, an increase in their seats is not expected in these elections.
So, in most of the constituencies, they will only cause a division of secular votes benefitting only the BJP. The majority will either vote for the TMC or the BJP. The pocket vote of the CPM and the Congress will go to them causing a division of anti-BJP votes.
Therefore, the alliance of the Left and the Congress may be the vote cutters in the forthcoming elections. The changed political situations due to the rise of the BJP in the state and the entry of the AIMIM in the poll fray has not made any changes in the poll strategy of the Left, the Congress and even the ruling TMC. The secular voters will be confused by the three secular parties as the three have their loyal voters who will not change their choices against the BJP while the BJP voters will face no such dilemma.