West Bengal Assembly polls | Samyukta Morcha reduced to a rubble

The total vote share of all the constituents of the party not even touched 8%

The experiment of the Samyukta Morcha, where the Left parties along with the Congress allied with a party headed by a Muslim peer, not only proved counter-productive but reduced the Left and Congress to a rubble in West Bengal politics. The trends and results of the West Bengal Assembly elections indicate that the total vote share of all the constituents of the Samyukta Morcha has not even touched 8%. The CPI(M) vote share dropped below 5% as counting was under way. The Congress vote share slipped to less than 3% in these elections.

Prominent candidates of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) like former Minister Asok Bhattacharya came third in the electoral contest trailing behind the BJP and the Trinamool candidates from Siliguri, a constituency he had represented several times. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Md. Salim, who contested from Chanditala in Hooghly, also suffered a similar fate trailing the Trinamool Congress candidate and the BJP nominee. Other prominent Left Front candidates like leader of the Left legislature Party Sujan Chakraborty was also trailing from Jadavpur constituency. For the Congress, the 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal ended its political clout over districts of Murshidabad and Malda. Most of the candidates of Left parties and Congress lost their deposits. Even the young candidates of the CPI(M), who created a lot of media attention, failed to make a significant mark.

The West Bengal Assembly elections for 2021 were bipolar from the beginning. The Left and the Congress, which were the main Opposition till 2016, suffered a huge political setback in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, where the Left Front vote share dropped to 7% and the Congress to 5.61%. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the Left Front had secured 25.69% of votes and the Congress 12.3% votes. The alliance had won 76 seats with the Congress winning 44 seats and the Left Front 32 seats.

The Muslim voters, instead of putting their faith in the Samyukta Morcha, voted en masse for the Trinamool Congress. The only exception was in Bhangar in South 24 Parganas where chairman of the Indian Secular Front Naushad Siddique and brother of Furfura Sharif peer Abbas Siddique won the electoral contest. ISF was set up only months before the elections and the Left and the Congress tying up with the party had raised many eyebrows in the political circles.

One of the major emphasis of the Samyukta Morcha campaign was reaching out to Muslims but voters from the minority community backed the Trinamool Congress to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party away from the State. The Left had fielded several young leaders too like Minakshi Mukherjee in Nandigram, Dipshita Dhar in Bally and Aishe Ghosh in Jamuria, but they too failed to make a mark.

Political observer and pshephologist Biswanath Chakraborty said dedicated voters of the Left parties chose to support the Trinamool Congress instead of voting for the Left parities and the Samyukta Morcha. “The Left supporters heeded what Dipankar Bhattacharya of the CPI(ML) had to say to support the Trinamool to resist the BJP than what State CPI(M) leaders like Surjya Kanta Mishra and Md. Salim said,” Professor Chakraborty said.

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