How Congress-CPI(M) alliance can harm Trinamool in Bengal

A tacit alliance in the previous Assembly polls damaged TMC on 70 seats. Would an open alliance this time show the same voting pattern?

Left-Congress
CPI[M] and Congress flags seen at a join rally at the iconic Brigade ground in Kolkata | File Photo: PTI

The tacit alliance between the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist in 2016 had successfully managed to keep All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) away from winning at least 70 Assembly seats in West Bengal. Though the two parties were a part of separate alliances, they did not contest against each other in the 70 seats, poll data suggests.

The two parties have now officially formed an alliance. The Federal takes a look at how the numbers worked in the previous election.

In 2016, the Congress alliance contested 118 seats and won 44. All the victories were registered by the Congress while the rest of the alliance partners couldn’t win any seat. Similarly, the CPI(M)-led Left Front contested 183 seats and registered 27 victories. Out of these seats, 26 were won by the CPI(M). The CPI won the remaining one seat.

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The Congress and the CPI(M) did not contest against each other except in the Domkal constituency which was bagged by the CPI(M)’s Anisum Sarkar, who secured 36.9 per cent votes while the Congress’ Abdur Sekh got 23.8 per cent votes. AITC candidate Soumik Hossain was a runner-up with 33.3 per cent votes to his tally.

Also read: In Bengal, BJP’s ‘expansion by assembling’ strategy backfires

Though the Congress won more seats than the CPI(M) in the previous election, the vote share of the latter was much bigger. Congress had a vote share of 12.4 per cent with 44 seats to its tally while CPI(M) managed to win only 26 seats with a vote share of 20.1 per cent in 2016. Together they gained about 32.5 per cent votes across the state. Their main opponent AITC had a vote share of 45.6 per cent, according to the data of the Election Commission of India.

Thus, the new alliance between the Congress and Left together will not only affect the seat tally of the AITC, but it can also make a major impact on the overall vote share. The anti-incumbency factor is another negative factor that might play against AITC in the current elections.

Also read: MPs, stars to the rescue as BJP struggles with Bengal candidature

Apart from Domkal, the two parties did not contest against each other, resulting in the minimum shift of votes among the two parties. This tacit alliance resulted in a loss overall of AITC on most seats. It, therefore, looks obvious that the new alliance could have a similar effect on the voting pattern in the state in current assembly elections.

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