CPM increases vote share in Bengal bypolls
In Dinhata, FB bled as former leader Kamal Guha’s son Udayan, who was elected on FB ticket in 2011, shifted his political allegiance to the Trinamool Congress before the 2016 Assembly polls.
KOLKATA: In the by-elections in four Assembly constituencies in West Bengal, the CPM, the key stakeholder of the Left Front, performed better comparing to the recent Assembly elections but the ally parties continued to suffer sharp fall in their vote shares.
When the CPM candidate’s vote share was 19.57 per cent in the by-poll in Shantipur constituency ,which was nearly 15 per cent higher than the performance in the 2021 Assembly polls, LF’s other allies like Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc (FB) failed to stop erosion in their vote bank.
In Gosaba, RSP bagged only 1.66 per cent votes when 2.49 electorates had kept their faith on the party in the recent Assembly polls. Similarly, in Cooch Behar’s Dinhata, once a stronghold of the FB, the LF ally got only 2.79 votes in the by-poll which was 0.3 per cent less than in the recent Assembly polls. Both the allies lost their deposit in the by-polls and TMC bagged all four seats.
The CPM gave a tooth a nail fight to the BJP in Shantipur, the constituency in Nadia district, dominated by the followers of Hindu religious sect Matuas, which was won by the BJP in the recent Assembly elections. Matuas, comprising the Hindu refugees from Bangladesh once known to be Congress’s vote-bank who switched loyalty to the TMC before changing allegiance to the BJP in the 2018 LS elections.
In Dinhata, FB bled as former leader Kamal Guha’s son Udayan, who was elected on FB ticket in 2011, shifted his political allegiance to the Trinamool Congress before the 2016 Assembly polls. The BJP bagged the seat in 2021 but failed to retain the seat in the bypoll.
“The FB’s vote-bank shifted to the TMC following Udayan’s defection to the ruling party in 2016. A chunk of it showed its allegiance to the BJP which won Dinhata with a razor thin margin of 57 votes in the assembly polls. But our party managed to bring back the electorate to its fold in the by-election,” said a TMC leader.
The rift in BJP Bengal unit surfaced on Saturday after its national vice-president Dilip Ghosh hit out at former Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy, asking him as to why he wasn’t leaving the party if he was so upset. Ghosh’s attack came over Roy’s recent series of criticism of the party’s ‘style of functioning’. In a series of tweets, Roy attacked some of the national and state leaders for the party’s poor show in the Assembly polls. Incidentally, both Roy and Ghosh are former presidents of the state BJP unit.