The high voltage eight phase polling in West Bengal is finally over. The jury is still out. Majority of the exit polls conducted by different agencies have shown an edge to Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which has been ruling the state for the last ten years. Only two or three of them have indicated a comfortable margin for TMC, while only one has suggested that the BJP would wrest power from TMC with a comfortable majority. In terms of vote shares, the gap between the two warring camps is not more than 3.5 per cent either way, going by all such polls.
Now, you talk to any pollster and he/she would say that there is always a 3-3.5 per cent margin of errors in such opinion or exit polls. If that be the case, if it moves 3 per cent in favour of TMC, they will cross 200 mark and will get a comfortable majority. But it moves 3 per cent against them, the outcome will be completely different, in fact diametrically opposite. One will also have to factor in the large number of ‘silent voters’, who, given the high degree of political hatemongering and incidents of violence might not be willing to divulge what’s there in their minds.
Mind you that both TMC and BJP are still reiterating their confidence (maybe, over confidence) of winning more than 200 seats and forming the government. Quite significantly, the BJP state president, while airing the same confidence, minced no word in hinting at a fresh round of exodus from the TMC in post poll scenario.
If the exit polls outcomes are anything to go by, the much-hyped triumvirate — the CPIM, the Congress and Indian Secular Front may end up faring poorly, reflecting thereby, further dwindling relevance of the Left and the Congress in the state at least.
The advocacy over the need to have a ‘comfortable majority notwithstanding, from Mamata Banerjee’s perspectives, even having a thinner edge will mark a huge moral victory. That’s because Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister, Amit Shah held more than 50 election rallies, this time round. Around a dozen of union ministers and BJP’s national president J P Nadda have been camping in the state for the last two months or so. They orchestrated switching over of camps by so many erstwhile TMC leaders. An unprecedentedly large central force was deployed to conduct polls…so on and so forth. Although there will be a possibility that if TMC comes by a thinner margin, that government may not last long…..you know why and how!!
Bengal does not have any precedence of a hung assembly…….Will it be this time?
Hold your breath for a real cliffhanger. Sunday the Second, in the month of May, may not be just yet another Sunday, for many.