New face worked, new political arithmetic failed

Sanjib Deb

March 6, 2023, 03:26:37   

New face worked, new political arithmetic failed

The BJP leadership had taken a risk by changing its face and bringing Dr Manik Saha known as ‘Mr Clean’ to the front on the eve of the state assembly election and the decision now proved to be correct. When this is the situation on the ruling side, the opposition CPI(M) and Congress also designed their strategy with new arithmetic which appears to be failed miserably. The new sensation in state politics TIPRA Motha has performed well but the party failed to emerge as a deciding factor that may be considered a setback for its highly ambitious chief Pradyot Bikram Kishor Debbarman.

Many were suspicious when the BJP leadership decided to bring Dr Manik Saha as a new face replacing Biplab Kumar Deb. The decision was not easy but ultimately it proved the farsightedness of the leaders. Dr Saha also proved his effectiveness in a short period. Bringing the law and order situation into the control was one of his major successes and the election result proves that the people of the state appreciated his move. One of the most notable achievements of his short tenure was re-establishing confidence in the state administration and restoration of peoples’ faith.

The positive outlook of the new Chief Minister pushed the opposition political parties into the wall as the two arch-rivals, the CPI(M) and the Congress brushed aside all their differences and came together. They gave the impression that the joint force will be able to dethrone the BJP from power. But the people who rejected this strategic arithmetic dumped both of them as people refused to accept the unnatural marriage of convenience. The CPI(M) that ruled the state for long 35 years even lost its main opposition status to TIPRA Motha.

A simple analysis of the election result will show that in the constituencies the Congress put up candidates on behalf of the alliance, the CPI(M) supporters voted for them. But where the CPIM contested on behalf of the alliance, the Congress workers did not vote for them. The reason is very simple. The Congress workers refused to accept the alliance with the party which ruled the state for decades and many of the Congress workers were deprived of them. However, few leaders were the beneficiaries of the alliance as without CPI(M) help they won’t have won. The CPI(M), especially its newly emerged leader Jitendra Chowdhury was instrumental in forging the alliance but now definitely lamenting. 

In 2018, immediately after coming into power, the BJP decided to restore the glory of the former kings of the state that remained ignored and insulted during the long rule of the left. It brought the Royal Scion Pradyot Bikram into the limelight and it perhaps gave him a misconception about his position. It led him to form Rajbari sponsored political party TIPRA Motha and dictate terms for the major political parties with narrow motives. The poll result proves that his strategy worked in a section of the people who gave his candidates victory with big margins but did not allow him to be the deciding factor in the formation of the government. It left Pradyot in larch and landed his political future in a quandary. Pradyot himself seems to have apprehended such a situation and already decided that he is quitting politics. Now it is to be seen what his followers go.