Verdict 2016 also has a cautionary message for Mamata, Jayalalithaa
Both of them have beaten the anti-incumbency challenge to win successive terms for the first time. But for Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalithaa, there is a message in the verdict.
And that is: We support you but make sure you take care of your responsibility towards the people.
Madan Mitra's loss is a blessing in disguise for Mamata
As many as eight ministers of Banerjee's previous government lost the elections this time, besides the tainted former minister---Madan Mitra. For analysts, Mitra's defeat (he lost by 4,198 votes) is a blessing in disguise for Banerjee who single-handedly took her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), to victory. For it saved Banerjee from tackling with corruption-related problems, the biggest threat to her clean image. [Women make historic presence in TN election]
Two important members---Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, who were accused in the Narada sting operation, also saw their victory margins reducing drastically.
|How TMC's winning candidates accused in Narada op did compared to 2011|
|Name||Constituency||Winning margin||Winning margin of 2011||Votes polled|
|Suvendu Adhikari||Nandigram||81,230||43,640 (In 2011, Firoza Bibi won from here)||1,34,623 (gone up)|
|Firhad Hakim||Kolkata Port||26,548||25,033||73,459 (up)|
|Sovan Chatterjee||Behala East||24,294||48,173||96,621 (down)|
|Iqbal Ahmed||Khanakul||43,487||27,879||1,06,878 (up)|
|Subrata Mukherjee||Ballygunge||15,225||41,185||70,083 (down)|
Nobody apart from Mamata can take his/her position for granted and even Didi has a duty
It is a clear message from the voters: Nobody apart from Mamata Banerjee can claim the benefit of doubt. And as the CM, the TMC chief must also ensure that she gives a better administration in the next five years.
It's not that all the ministers who lost were doing bad. Rather their loss gives the TMC leadership a warning signal that it is time to pull up the socks. Mamata Banerjee, despite her popularity as a mass leader, needs to sharpen her skills as an administrator. Or else, 2021 might not see another benefit of doubt going in her favour.
Jayalalithaa's AIADMK also saw five ministers losing
Jayalalithaa's AIADMK, too, faces a similar challenge. Five ministers, including NR Viswanathan, R Vaithilingam, P Mohan, B Valarmathi and S Gokula Indira lost in this election. O Panneerselvam, the No. 2 in the party command after Jayalalithaa, won and is likely to continue with the finance department.
But the loss of the five ministers is a similar warning to the AIADMK ahead of its next five-year journey. Though the party doesn't have the shortage of faces to replaces the five ministers who lost, but dissatisfaction among cadre over choice of constituencies or neglect towards their seats by the sitting MLA made an impact on the fate of some of the high-profile leaders despite the party doling out freebies ahead of the election.