Saturday, July 13, 2024

Cong hopeful of winning 4-5 LS seats after rise in rural poll percentage

Even as the Trinamool Congress swept the recently concluded panchayat polls in West Bengal with the BJP taking a distant second seat, the Congress is hopeful that with the increase in its vote share it will easily manage to win four to five Lok Sabha seats if the general elections are held today.

In the panchayat polls, the Trinamool Congress secured about 51.14 per cent votes, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which secured 22.88 per cent votes, whereas the Communist Party of India (Marxist) got 12.56 per cent votes.

The Congress secured about 6.42 per cent votes, while the Indian Secular Front (ISF) got about 2 per cent votes.

A party source said that the performance of the Congress has improved in the state as compared to the last elections where it managed to win only 2 per cent votes. “We registered a growth of over four per cent in the panchayat elections, which is a positive sign for the party,” the source said.

The source admitted that despite getting one of the worst results in the 2021 Assembly elections, where it could not win a single seat in the assembly elections, the vote share of the party has increased.

The source also admitted that despite not being in the state for over 42 years, the party is improving its performance and there is no disconnect between the central leadership and the state level leaders.

He said that in the panchayat elections, the party won over 3,000 plus seats out of 63,229 seats.
Pointing out the reason for not putting up a good show in the politically sensitive state, the source said “The assembly elections in West Bengal were quite bipolar, which gave an advantage to the BJP to secure the position of the second biggest party as it managed to win 77 out of the 294 seats.”
The Trinamool Congress had won 213 seats in the assembly elections.
The Congress, which had won 44 seats in the 2016 assembly elections, could not open its account along with the Left parties in 2021.
The Congress managed to secure 2.94 per cent votes in the 2021 assembly elections in the state whereas the Left parties got a 4.72 per cent vote share.
The source added that the party is hopeful of making a strong comeback in the state in next year’s Lok Sabha elections, even if it does not have an alliance with any party.
The source pointed out that the Trinamool Congress lost 6 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due to the Congress, including the parliamentary seats of Malda North and Jadavpur.
The poor results in the 2021 assembly elections, the source said, have not pushed the Congress on the back foot and it is eager to give a good account in the state in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
He pointed out that the Congress was reduced to two seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due to the polarising campaign of the BJP and the Trinamool Congress, where party leader Abhijeet Mukherjee, son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, too lost.
He said that the BJP polarised the issue of Pranab Mukherjee going to the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, which went against Abhijeet in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“But the people are now getting frustrated with the polarising campaigns and voting on religious lines and thus the party is hopeful of winning four to five seats in the Lok Sabha elections in the state next year,” he said.
He added that even if the general elections are held now, the party will easily manage to win four to five seats, as its cadre and leaders are well aware of the ground situation.
“With senior party leaders Deepa Dasmunshi, a former MP and union minister from Raiganj LS seat in West Bengal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, AH Khan Chaodhary, Shankar Malakar, Pradeep Bhattacharya, Nepal Mahto and Abdul Mannan, the party is hopeful of giving a spirited and united fight in the state,” he stated.
The source said that Dasmunshi and Choudhary still have clout in the Raiganj and Malada South parliamentary constituencies.
He pointed out that with the veteran party leaders Chowdhury, Bhattacharya, Malakar, Mahto and Mannan, it is not tough for the Congress to give a good fight to the ruling Trinamool and the BJP.
Explaining why people are fed up with the polarised campaigns of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP, the source said both these parties run their campaigns aggressively due to which a lot of tension is generated.
“People are fed up with the alleged corruption in the Trinamool Congress government as many of their leaders, including ministers, are facing the heat from the central investigation agencies which has dented their image in the public. Whereas the BJP’s religious polarisation fuelled by the resentment of a section of Bengali Hindu society is now also being opposed by the people in several parts of the state, which is a perfect opportunity for the Congress to tap on,” he said.
The Congress has started preparing for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and has already initiated talks to bring like-minded parties together.
The source said, “Even if an alliance is stitched together with the Trinamool Congress, the BJP which had won 18 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will go below 10 in the state.”
The Trinamool Congress, which had won 34 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was reduced to 22 seats in the 2019 polls, while the BJP gained a lot in five years from two seats in 2014 to 18 in 2019.

The Congress had won seven seats in West Bengal in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and it was reduced to four in 2014 and two in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.



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