Although some exit polls indicated that Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) had the upper hand, others predicted that the BJP would win the state.
The outcome of the Assembly elections in West Bengal, which ended on Thursday with the final phase of voting, was overwhelmingly positive, according to opinion and exit polls: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is expected to sweep Tamil Nadu; the NR Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are expected to form a coalition in Puducherry; the BJP will maintain power in Assam; and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) will retake power in Kerala.
West Bengal was an outlier. Although some exit polls indicated that Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) had the upper hand, others predicted that the BJP would win the state. The BJP, on the other hand, appears to be on track to make unprecedented gains in Bengal, both in terms of vote share and number of seats. The TMC is expected to drop anywhere between 5% and 10% as a result of the development.
The polls yielded some intriguing results. The BJP’s fortunes seem to have been unaffected by the hotly disputed question of citizenship in Assam. The gains made by the Congress by forming an alliance with the Bodo People’s Front (another former BJP partner) and the Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) seem to be minor.
In Kerala, the LDF is set to run for a second term, breaking with tradition and likely as a reward for its social service delivery. Issues of corruption and smuggling, which are currently under investigation by the chief minister’s office, seem to have had little impact on voters.
Despite the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) ability to provide credible governance and hold together following the death of J Jayalalithaa (shortly after the government was formed), opinion polls expect a thrashing in Tamil Nadu.
The BJP has cause to rejoice after winning a landslide victory in Bengal. However, polls indicate that its success in Kerala will be disappointing, though further analysis will be dependent on the vote share the party is able to secure.
The Covid-19 pandemic’s management was barely mentioned during the Assembly elections. However, now that they are over, and in light of the BJP’s stellar success in Bengal, a bitter fight between the TMC (if it is able to form a government) and the Centre, as well as the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Centre, should be awaited.