[This is a guest post by KUMAR RANA. Kumar Rana is an activist and works with Pratichi]
At last, after 32 years, history repeated itself in West Bengal. It’s the history of routing of a prolonged political hegemony established by the CPIM led Left Front that replaced in 1977 another prolonged reign of the Congress. The Left Front is now reduced to 15 seats from its 2004 tally of 35. The Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee, who severed her ties with the NDA to form an alliance with the Congress has swept through the elections to multiply her parties tally by 19 – she was the sole representative of her party in 2004. She made two alliances – one with the Congress that has managed to restore its position by winning six seats, and the other with SUCI, which too has won the seat allotted to it. The BJP has also secured a seat mainly through its bargain with the Gorkha Janmukti Parishad that has been fighting for a separate state of Gorkhaland. In other words, the opposition parties have now secured 27 out of 42 seats – more than two third – in the state.
Not that the change was fully unanticipated. There have been indications in the pre-poll surveys and other discourses that the Left Front was going to loose – but only to some extent (18-19 seats). None, including the opposition parties, did expect such a result. This writer too estimated the opposition seats to be 23-24, and could not imagine that the phrase – era jak (let they be dumped) – could have so routing effect on the ruling front.. Indeed, it’s the people who build up their own phrases, and this time it was “era jak”.
Continue reading The Collapse of Hegemony: Kumar Rana