Bengal bypoll results: Not a black-and-white scenario

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The victory of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the two bypolls in Krishnaganj and Bangaon held in West Bengal is not just a black and white affair. [Bengal bypolls: BJP looks at the positives]

The results have seen no actual winners. While the double wins were unexpected for the ruling party, for its main opposition in the state, the BJP (even if it has just one seat in the assembly), the losses indicate both at the positives and negatives. Both sides are, at the same time, are happy and worried.

Let's see why.

Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee termed the victory as 'miracle'. This itself tells the story. The ruling party of Bengal is going through its worst phase even though it has an absolute majority in the state assembly and 34 members in the Parliament.

Bengal bypolls: Not a black-and-white

TMC beleaguered both as a party and government

The accusations of corruption, compromising with national security by giving shelter to terror modules, inability to improve law and order situation, failure to convince industrialists have left the Trinamool beleaguered, both as a party and government.

If one adds the Oppn votes, then Trinamool's victory doesn't come easily

The growing dissent in the party and the growing difference between the supremo and her chief aide have added more to the party's woes. In this situation, these two poll victories, even if they are bypolls, have brought a welcome relief that Banerjee was looking for.

TMC's victory margins have increased

The TMC's victory margins in these two seats have also increased, which have compelled its leaders to say that the voters still judge the party by its chief and not those who have found themselves at the receiving end of the law in connection to Saradha scam.

But that doesn't mean the BJP has done badly. Just like in the recently held Delhi assembly poll where the Aam Aadmi Party had eaten into the Congress's vote-bank, the BJP too has made a massive dent into the Left's vote-share.

BJP's vote share also increased at the cost of the Left

While the BJP's vote-share increased from 19% to 25% in Bangaon Lok Sabha constituency (the Left's figure declined from 32% to 27%), in Krishnaganj assembly constituency their share rose from 15% to 29% (Left's share diminished from 31% to 19%). But still the saffron party couldn't give the TMC a fight.

BJP yet to have a strong local organisation and leadership

The reason: The BJP is yet to have a strong organise in rural Bengal and neither it has a robust local leadership to capitalise on local issues. Hence, the TMC emerged as the winner despite the snowballing anti-incumbency factor.

These bypoll results might be an indicator to the state polls scheduled next year. Central leader Siddharth Nath Singh also admitted to the fact and said the BJP is yet to cover a long distance before it poses a serious challenge to Mamata Banerjee.

But the story has a catch: Mamata Banerjee won't like it

But there is a catch and that will not make Banerjee happy. Even as the TMC has taken a big lead against the second and third-placed parties in the bypolls, but if one adds up the votes of the CPI(M) and BJP, then it is certainly going to prove difficult for the TMC to maintain its first position.

The same used to happen when the Left Front was in power. The opposition votes used to get divided after the Congress saw Mamata Banerjee walking out and forming the Trinamool Congress. The same rule is continuing even today. It's only the players whose positions have changed.

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