West Bengal, TMC wins!!!

Modi’s BJP Suffers Setback in West Bengal State Elections:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party fell far short in its attempt to win control in a fiercely contested state election, one in which its aggressive efforts to get out the vote have been criticized as worsening the country’s surge in Covid-19 infections.

Official results coming in early Monday showed Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was poised to win as many as 77 seats in the West Bengal state legislature—a sharp pickup from its previous showings but well short of a majority of the 292 seats being contested.

The state’s governing Trinamool Congress party was on track to win as many as 213 seats. The party is led by Mamata Banerjee, a powerful regional politician who has at times been an outspoken critic of Mr. Modi.

– Does the TMC have an ideology?

– It’s weird that this is a state with 90 million people. India is so populous!

– Are regional parties going to have a lock on the south and east?


37 Replies to “West Bengal, TMC wins!!!”

  1. Just a reminder, BJP has never won here, they had 3 seats last time, now they have 80+ and the seats they lost in were by small margins. This was a massive surge by the BJP. They never ruled Bengal. They could do in the future. Not sure why this is being projected as a BJP loss when they never have held Bengal, if anything they have more of a presence than before. Meanwhile TMC is known to have attacked many BJP workers.

  2. Indian economic and social theorists do talk/have talked about the Kerala model, Gujarat model, the Punjab success story, the Southern (KA-TN-AP) service led growth model, Bombay Plan/Mumbai Consensus. Unfortunately there is no Bengal model or story. This should tell you something about TMC’s ideology and their predecessor (CPM).

    Actually East of Bengal, it is BJP and NDA ruled states that are in the majority for the North Eastern states.

    Regional parties have a performance boost when there is a overwhelmingly strong centre – this was the “centrigual forces” political theory. It is easy to explain. When a national party takes centre stage in Parliament, the opposition national party tries to outflank it beginning first in the outermost regions.

    In this Congress more or less suspended their campaigning quite a long time before the Covid peak – giving Mamta a chance by preventing the division of votes. And it also helped that Rahul is what he is along with Adhir.

    Second thing to note is that – even AIMIM, a rising pan-India Islamist party failed to make the slightest dent in any seat. Bengalis proving again that their language binds better than Islam.

    There was a 11% voteshare gap between TMC and BJP – this is quite large for any kind of election – presidential, proportional, twin party or multi party. I am yet to see a credible political analysis. The WSJ article is total crap.

    1. Second thing to note is that – even AIMIM, a rising pan-India Islamist party failed to make the slightest dent in any seat. Bengalis proving again that their language binds better than Islam.

      Either that, or Bengali Muslims realized that they have a better deal with a soft-Islamist party in power than a hard-Islamist one that just gets a few seats.

      Regarding Razib’s comment:
      – It’s weird that this is a state with 90 million people. India is so populous!
      But one expects no less from the junior sibling of Bangladesh…

  3. https://twitter.com/vjgtweets/status/1389297015134121984

    “The BJP suffered a comprehensive electoral defeat to the incumbent TMC in the state of West Bengal, and TMC workers are celebrating by destroying property, killing BJP (and CPI) workers, and molesting women suspected of supporting the “fascist” BJP.

    No prizes for guessing the kind of headlines we’d see if the shoe were on the other foot! Indian “intellectuals” who feature prominently in western pubs have assiduously crafted an image for themselves as heroic defenders of “secular democracy”

    but it takes all of ten minutes scouring Indian media to understand how fragile this image is, and how opportunistic their rhetoric can be. Indeed, you’d think that people who appear so passionate about democracy and human rights would be guided by principle,

    but the mounting evidence to the contrary renders this assumption untenable. Nor are they evil— evil requires intelligence. The answer here is much more banal; the average Indian intellectual is a salesman, and their customers are editorial boards. They know what sells.”

  4. “It’s weird that this is a state with 90 million people.”

    This is a bit of unfortunate terminology, and can be especially confusing to Americans. The original term in the Constitution is ‘Rajya’ (hence Rajya Sabha), which in Sanskrit translates to kingdom, country or realm. So state in India means country in Europe roughly in terms of demographic and cultural implications.

  5. As someone was pointing out on twitter, WB is roughly 70% Hindu, 30% Muslim. So if the TMC got 30% of the Hindu vote and 90% of the Muslim vote, that alone can explain the huge 48% of the vote that they got.

    1. Worse, According to Election Commission, 59,928,429 votes were polled while eligible votes were 73,298,428. BJP received 22,850,710 votes while Trinamool received 28,735,420 votes. Many Poll Strategists have taken Muslim Voters constitute 28% while Hindu Voters constitute 69% in West Bengal. If you work out the numbers, Hindu voting % is 72 while Muslim voting % is 91. BJP received 65.4% of Hindu Votes while Trinamool received 25% of Hindu Votes, the rest of the Hindu Votes were received by CPI and Congress. Trinamool received 93% of Muslim Votes while CPI and Congress received the rest. “Vote-Katua” received only 0.1% votes. It all boils down to Hindus were prevented to Vote as BJP did receive fair share of Hindu Votes.

        1. I compiled the numbers based on 2016 and 2019 elections in West Bengal. All Official numbers for total votes polled are from ECI and % of H and M are extrapolated using Census 2011 data district wise in West Bengal. One assumption I made that BJP will get 0-1% of Muslim votes. When you try to balance of the numbers, the assumption stands correct

  6. TMC (Trinamool Congress) like NCP (Nationalist Congress) is daughter of Congress with a regionalist flavor.
    In both these cases – as well as YSR congress – there was a fallout between local and national congress leadership and ambition of local leaders which threatened the coterie around Gandhis and Gandhis themselves.

    Are regional parties going to have a lock on the south and east?
    Maharashtra could join in for a long rule of regional parties – Congress may become irrelevant by next elections. It could just be Marathi manoos parties vs BJP. But BJP remains the most popular party in MH unlike East or South.

    Not to Forget Mamata Banerjee was a cabinet minister in NDA 1 as a Railway minister. So like Nitish her issues seem to be Modi style BJP not BJP per say – Having said that she has dialed up on the Muslim appeasement to the levels beyond anything NCP or Jagan are capable of since 2000.

  7. Mamata is a radical haleem appeaser. Bengal will go through partition again at this rate. I pray for sensible leadership. This is sad. What a clusterfuck

    1. @Sumit
      Hopefully it will result in further shifting of their voteshare to bjp. Don’t know if it will provide much advantage as it was very low in this election.

  8. While the outgoing Assembly had 59 Muslim legislators — 32 were from the TMC, the Congress had 18 and the Left 9 — the next Assembly will have 44 Muslim MLAs, of whom 43 are from the TMC and one from the ISF.

  9. https://twitter.com/vasabjit_b/status/1389594024135299079

    “When I saw the same people declaring they supported the CPM and now support Trinamul in Bengal, the same who are decrying me as shamelessly Right Wing, I realize something is broken and immoral among them, not me whose family business was killed by the CPM and who fled his home.

    So you can collect plaudits from your Comp Literature, History, and Anthro departments in AC offices of capitalist societies, but don’t tell me to keep quiet when you’re so oblivious and ideological to forget or justify state collapse, economic decline, and political violence…

    What would your esteemed colleagues think of you when they hear about the massacres and the repression under the venerable Left Front in West Bengal? Would you and them use Marx, Foucault or Fannon to justify it, to look enlightened, and even selfless?…”

  10. What is Mudiji doing about slaughter of BJP workers and Hindus in Bengal? When a party can’t even protect its own workers from Mumtaz Banoo’s goons, how will they talk about protecting Hindu civilization? Amit should send in the CRPF to shoot at sight, at a minimum. Is Mudiji aiming to emulate Gandhi’s eunuchgiri before and during Partition?

  11. – Glad to see TMC win (as well as the Communist Party in Kerala and DMK in TN), if just for the fact that India being increasingly controlled by one party is a worrying prospect.

    – Hoping that the Indian RW’s requests to try to overturn the results of the election by imposing President’s Rule and even AFSPA are rejected by the Centre.

    – Worried about how much more the deep hatred for Bengal and its people that seems essential to the Indian RW will grow and what implications that could have.

    – BJP has made gains in most of these states, especially Bengal, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to predict that regional parties will have a lock on the South & the East. Hindutva is growing, for better or worse.

  12. https://nonsensicalnemo.substack.com/p/why-bengali-lives-dont-matter

    “ However, the truth is there’s extraordinarily little even Amit Shah or Narendra Modi can do to stop this – barring calling President’s Rule. And if they do call for President’s rule, it will be met with vehement opposition given that Mamata clearly has the people’s mandate.

    Even though every other journalist is Bengali, the true nature of the violence might be lost in the afterglow of the ‘idea of India being preserved’. While journalists of an older generation were proud card-carrying communists, the new generation consists of Buzzfeed Marxists whose hatred of BJP far outweighs any mooring of a political ideology.

    For reasons best known to them, Bengalis like to portray a utopian vision of their state to the world where every lad is either reading Tagore’s poems or watching Ray’s films or enjoying a Kolkata roll. Yet the fact that most of us have been displaced because of years of misrule show how hollow our vision is of the state.

    It’s a land destroyed by tyrants, where bloodletting is the norm after every election. Beneath the veneer of cultural sophistication, it’s a land torn apart again and again by violence, which is deeply entrenched in Bengal’s pathos. And no regime change can quell the bloodlust or change the state’s inherent character. Irrespective of who’s in power.“

    1. Using ‘XYZ not a monolith’ as an argument, -5 points.

      Also what is it with Bengalis and self praise? No one respects them, no one wants to be like them, but they keep on going…

      If Kannads or Gujjus or Marathis or Rajasthanis did self praise fine, maybe include Madraasis and Punjabis too but Bengalis?

      1. Self praise is a problem of every Indian ethnicity/ community. Some more , some less. But it’s there.

        Every ethnicity believes ( even the ones who want to secede or whose majority lives outside India ) that india exists because of them, and they are “saving” india and they are god”s gift to other Indians

  13. All the progressive parts of India vote against BJP. Hindutvists dominate the backward cow belt, Gujrat and some NRI forums.

    1. Hindutva dominates more-Hindu regions. Commies (of all hue and color) dominate non/less-Hindu regions. Simple.

  14. No commies in TN, Punjab, Orissa, Kashmir etc. How does it feel to be living happily in non Hindu countries and promoting Hindu India. For those not woke, Hindu and India are not synonymous, neither is Hindi and India. I’ve known cow belt Hindi speakers to imagine those outside their zone to be foreign to their notion of India. Lacking a regional identity Hindutva is their default state.

  15. Few would describe MK Stalin as a communist, and those who do would be wrong. The current DMK generally promotes regional chauvinism, mixed market economics, and anti-Brahminism. Neither communism nor Stalinism play any material role.

    1. Stalin, communist ?? what a joke . Karunanidhi family is one of the richest in India and Stalin plans to stay that way and add to the riches. While brahmin hatred is a constant in his politics, all his words (perhaps incl anti-brahminism) is a verbal smokescreen to increase his family wealth and build his dynasty. His son aged 45 is also a top DMK honcho.
      Honest communism has fallen by the wayside 40 years ago – that includes communist parties. In Tamilnadu , marxists survive by playing B team to DMK.
      Once trade union was the signature of communists. For The Hindu media , allgedly led by the ‘communist’ N.Ram , another toady for DMK, the trade union leader is Kanimozhi Karunidhi , a daghter of late M karunidhi and half sister of Stalin. Kanimozhi is obviouly part of a vast wealth network of companies , Indian and foreign registred, fixed assets like property and whatnot.
      The ‘traditional’ communist activities like Trade Union and Social justice movements are in the hands and pockets of wealthiest people. Whole thing is a joke and a smokescreen for capitalism in India.

      The sponsors and the beneficieries of ‘liberalisation’ and globalisation in India are people like DMK, Congress and BJP is a late comer to the field

  16. The regional parties need to come together and form a coherent platform and serve as opposition. Obviously a tall task. But there needs to be a strong and coherent opposition, especially now that Congress seems all but dead.

    There’s some chance they could get votes in Kerala, TN, Andhra, Telangana, Odisha, Bengal, Kashmir, Punjab, the Northeast, Delhi, Karnataka.

  17. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/south/belongs-to-dravidian-stock-says-m-k-stalins-twitter-profile-983526.html

    Belongs to Dravidian stock, says M K Stalin’s Twitter profile

    “”I say that I belong to the Dravidian stock and that is only because I consider that the Dravidians have got something concrete, something distinct, something different to offer to the nation at large. Therefore it is that we want self-determination,” Annadurai had said in his speech.

    Less-Hindu people ☝️

    1. All these folks will be more Hindu than Hindu once the Gangetic plains are as prosperous as they should be.

      1. @vikram
        Is the challenge for the gangetic plain possibly also a density issue? There’s plenty of economic activity and output. The people are no less industrious (probably more). They thrive everywhere else they go. Might it be a carrying capacity issue? About 150mil excess population without household wealth or land. The reason a kannadiga villager doesn’t travel as far and work as hard is because in most cases they have a decent land holding that can eke out a subsistence, and barring that, they can at least be dirt poor under their own 3 acres of coconut trees and spite the world. It seems that many of the bihari poor don’t even have that, which i attribute ironically to the higher productivity of their land that lends to elite accumulation directly or by proxy.

        1. @girmit, Bihar’s distribution of operational land holdings are comparable to those in West Bengal, J&K and Kerala, states with the most extensive land reforms in India. Karnataka, incidentally is closer to the more concentrated land ownership states like Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab. See operational land holdings Gini index here: https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-b0785f832dc0bf619f951ca78aaa6930.webp

          For an anecdote, see this part of a documentary on a Bihari migrant worker, who points out that he has to work in Punjab despite owning land in Bihar: https://tinyurl.com/vecpud2a

          The difference is that Karnataka has a US connected metro in Bengaluru and a Persian Gulf connected coast, these generate substantial revenues for its state government which can spend them on welfare programs and income support. See here: https://tinyurl.com/2djps26e

  18. The ‘more Hindu less Hindu’ description is a miscategorization. It of course does not mean ‘more Indian less Indian’ It does not even mean what it seems to; a people more Hindu compared to peoples less Hindu – which implies religious feeling. It is a cultural categorization that is being attempted.
    More Hindu in the context of the cowbelt seems to refer to category or mindsets lacking identity except one yoked to caste, superstition and all the non sublime aspects of popular Hinduism_a conservative, gullible mass prey to exploitation by mind traffickers. The ‘less Hindu’ areas comprise progressive communities not confused about their identity, equally at home with popular as well as the sublime aspects of their religion, and a disinclination to fall victim to political entrepreneurs trading in false religious coin just as they are determined to cast off the backward aspects of their faith. As Alberuni observed a millenium ago, there are pearls and dung to be found in India, but the dung and pearls are so mixed up that it is difficult to extricate the one from the other. The more Hindu category remains deeply sunk in that morass, the less Hindu is slowly discarding the dung.

    1. The less Hindu will slowly discard Hinduism as well. Leaving just the more Hindu pops with over all authority on Hinduism.


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