The forthcoming West Bengal Assembly election of 2021 will see a fine contest between Trinamool Congress and BJP. The TMC has had unprecedented rule in the region for the past 34 years but BJP’s performance in the 2019 general elections, with them winning 18 seats and roughly 43% of the votes polled came as a shock to some. This shows that the stakes in the upcoming elections will only get higher on both ends.

The history of political violence which goes back several decades in Bengal did not help the reputation of the current leadership as there was an attack on a BJP convoy, including the party’s national president JP Nadda, in West Bengal’s Shirakol in Diamond Harbour last Thursday. The constituency comes under Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee.

Previously, West Bengal’s governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed his concern over the law-and-order situation in the state and said that it had been continuously worsening and there were “extremely disturbing developments that do not augur well for democratic values.” The governor alleged that violators of law in the state have the protection of police and administration.

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The TMC also seems to be going through some intra-party disputes as there was speculation of TMC MLA Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation from the West Bengal legislative assembly soon. The MLA had earlier said that he was unhappy with organizational decisions taken by the top management of the party.

These elections will see a turf war in West Bengal as BJP has started garnering minority votes and targeting the State’s management. The emergence of Aimim in the state for the upcoming election will also increase the tension, as its pitch is aimed at the minority Muslim vote and its recent success in Bihar is proof that the vote can split.

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