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Massive Victory for Bengal Ki Beti. Why Mamata Banerjee’s Win Is A Watershed

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Mamata Banerjee Wins Bengal with Trinamool Congress: The only woman Chief Minister in India, Mamata Banerjee has single-handedly proven that Indian democracy is very much alive and kicking and despite all the ‘waves’ in the country, she knew her state would side with Bengal ki beti.

This election by no means was an easy one for Mamata to win but a three time straight victory in West Bengal speaks about Mamata beyond just a politician who knows her politics. She beat optics, politics, political pressures from within the party, the massive churn in candidates, the Tagore-avtar of PM Narendra Modi and even instances when she was pushed to the brink, like when she was injured and went around in a wheelchair to campaign.

What does Mamata Banerjee’s win tell us?

One, that female politicians and voters can be a gamechanger for Indian democracy. State elections have seen a phenomenal increase in voter turnouts. Dr Prannoy Roy, journalist and election expert says, “female voter turnout in State elections has been higher than the male voter turnout.” Could this mean that women voters are far more astute in making their preference clear?

All the crowds at BJP’s rally dominated by men was surely misleading and Mamata clearly knew how her work had benefitted real households and those who run homes. Trinamool also took a cue after the loss in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and launched schemes which reached out to voters directly such as Kanyashree and Rupashree which incentivised education and health of the girl child.

Department of Women Development and Social Welfare in West Bengal designed the Kanyashree Prakalpa, which is a conditional cash transfer scheme with the aim of improving the status and well being of the girl child in West Bengal by incentivising schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18, the legal age of marriage.

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Two, it takes groundwork and not just ‘waves’ to win. For too long voters have been told to believe a new ‘wave’ has swept the country and there is no looking back from a Modi-Shah victory. Mamata Banerjee proved this wrong in the face of all kinds of adversity. Banerjee’s party members were lured out to believe in this wave and quit Trinamool Congress in droves. No Mithun Chakraborty, no other tv or film actresses could detract Banerjee’s voters. Even the PM’s long flowing beard as Tagore look-a-like didn’t cut it.

Massive Victory for Bengal Ki Beti. Mamata Banerjee Wins. Here’s Why It’s Significant

Three, Mamata Banerjee reminded us that physical brute power against her would also not deter her politics. During campaigning she was injured but she sat on a wheelchair forcing experts to talk about the political dedication of a tiny woman in a white and blue saree campaigning in rubber chappals. Never giving up on her party slogan of Khela Hobe (let’s play) she single handedly challenged the might of a ruling party which brought on the entire star power of the PM, Amit Shah, national party leaders and more.

She has handed back BJP’s counter of Khela Shesh (game over) back to them despite being outnumbered and out-funded during the campaign. And now voices are growing louder about how even the Election Commission couldn’t deliver BJP the numbers it was hoping for. Clearly it has been a show of one woman versus the rest.

Fourth, Mamata has also proved that opposition parties can’t just sit and complain about the might of the BJP, it takes action. It is what it is and the Congress is the best example of what opposition shouldn’t be like. Mamata single handedly has proved once again that being a regional strong leader can protect the states from BJP domination.

India’s diversity lies in its states and strong leaders have the ability to be the effective opponent to the nationally dominant BJP. Congress with its complete wipeout in all states just shows that if you want to fight BJP you need to roll up your sleeves and fight. If Bengal and other states are any indication where BJP lost, it will take a mighty effort for the opposition to come together to challenge the BJP at the national level.

 

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