The reactions given by the top leaders of the CPI(M) and Congress in West Bengal who were hell-bent to reach an understanding in this election to topple the Mamata Banerjee were not just disappointing but also comical.
Assembly Polls 2016 Coverage; What May 19 revealed
CPI(M)'s Surjya Kanta Mishra, the Opposition leader in the outgoing Assembly, said the understanding between the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which swept the polls, and BJP led to such a result. He though lightly conceded the alliance's failure. If people vote against them, it amounts to a nexus? [What Mamata said after the victory]
Adhir Chowdhury, the state Congress echief who was in favour of the alliance in a big way, refused to take the responsibility of the loss and said wins and losses are part of elections. No wonder he will now look for an exit route.
"Can't understand what went wrong"
Another CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty, although defeated his TMC rival and minister Monish Gupta, but sounded pessimistic while explaining the result. "I am failing to understand what happened," he said.
They can't understand what went wrong because they fail to see beyond Kolkata and AC studios
These leaders fail to understand the reason for their steady decline in not only Bengal but across the country because they are either too localised to have a broader vision or have their bases, whatever they have, limited to urban centres and studios of biased media channels.
Fed by media which has its own plans, these leaders have made fool of themselves
Fed by a section of the media in the state, who TMC chief Mamata Banerjee accused of chasing a vested interest, these leaders of the so-called alliance or electoral understanding (nobody knows precisely what was that) did little to understand the pulse of the people on the ground and thought the 'morality factor' would shake Banerjee alone.
That was a complete misreading of the pitch and proves that the current-generation leaders of both the CPI(M) and Congress are completely cut off from the reality. Mamata Banerjee, despite everything, is still Bengal's only mass leader and the liliputs had no chance whatsoever to defeat her.
Curiously, the media gave no chance to Mamata who was just a term-old
Talking about the media which continued to feed the anti-Mamata forces, even recklessly, it either underestimated Banerjee or has lost its journalistic acumen. For no logical and reasonable brain on this earth would have carried out a campaign against a regime which is just a term old and that too, after a long 34-year-old dominance by another regime.
'Bhadrolok card' didn't pay off; elections in India are not decided in urban comfort
But one feels the media was perhaps too over-confident and expected that playing the 'bhadrolok' card will be enough to dislodge Banerjee, still not a favourite of the elite class. But it forgot that elections in India are not fought in five-star hotels but in the dusty corners of the country.
The result of the 2016 election is a significant one for it has taught, besides the politicians, the media an important lesson of democracy: Don't underestimate the people.