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Lok Sabha elections 2019: In WB, Congress-CPI(M) breakup will help TMC

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Kolkata, Mar 21: An India Today data analysis suggests that with the Congress-CPI(M) proposed alliance largely going their separate ways for the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, the stage is set for a four-cornered contest in which the main contenders -- the Trinamool Congress and the BJP - are in an advantageous position to consolidate the voters in their favour.

Lok Sabha elections 2019: In WB, Congress-CPI(M) breakup will help TMC

The Congress has virtually called off its alliance with the Left Front, which looked like a triangular battle' for into a four cornered one.

The TMC will now be directly pitted against the BJP. However, the development has brought cheer to the BJP camp, which has emerged as the main opposition of the TMC in the past few years. The party will be in a better position to find favour with a sizeable portion of the refugee voters in the border districts following its efforts to bring in the citizenship bill.

Leaders of both the Congress and the CPI(M) agreed that the failure to clinch a seat-sharing deal would actually be a negative factor for both the parties and they might not win more than one or two seats in the state.

Meanwhile, the electoral history of Bengal shows that it is the ruling party and the main opposition which become the main beneficiaries in the event of a four-cornered contest.

It's advantage BJP, TMC in Bengal as Congress decides to go solo

In 2014, the state again witnessed a four-cornered election in which the TMC won 34 seats, the Congress four and the Left and BJP two seats each.

The TMC had then secured 39.05 per cent votes, the CPI(M)-led Left Front 29.71 per cent, while the BJP and the Congress had secured 17 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively.

After Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal seems to be turning into the biggest political potboiler before the polls with data showing that as many as 17 seats, where vote share margin was less than 10 per cent, there is bound to be a close contest between the TMC, the BJP, and the CPM-led Left Front in West Bengal.

The CPI(M) was in power for decades, but now it seems to be struggling to even survive in the state.

The CPI(M)-Congess seat sharing deal in the 2016 state assembly polls had failed to halt the return of the TMC to power, but it was successful in stopping the march of the BJP to an extent. But the alliance fell apart after the poll as the CPI(M) decided to part ways with the Congress since its central committee vetoed it.

Since then the BJP has steadily taken over the opposition space in various by-elections and has emerged as the main opposition to the ruling TMC.

And in 2019 upcoming polls, as per the data analysis, it shows that if the TMC go as per the data, then the ruling party in the state may be able to buck anti-incumbency and a belligerent BJP to dominate the elections and even win 22 odd seats adding 8 more seats than that of in 2014, to emerge as one of the key blocs of a non-BJP, non-Cong government.

Lok Sabha polls will be held in the state in seven phases from April 11.

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