Indian Express

State of play – West Bengal: Congress party’s Achilles heel

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TRENDS

This is the only large state where the Congress has not recovered from its nationwide losses in 1977 — even in 1984 when it got a record tally of 415

The Congress has lost to one of its own. It is the Trinamool Congress, formed in 1998 by Mamata Banerjee, has emerged the opposition to the Left Front.

The Trinamool’s best performances were in alliance with the BJP (1999) and the Congress (2009). In 2004, despite its second alliance with the BJP, the Trinamool did not win any seat except Mamata’s.

The Congress has not gained in seats but remains a key alliance partner in elections. The Trinamool was a Congress ally when it registered its best score in 2009, though the Congress tally did not change.

The BJP has usually not been able to make a mark except in the Gorkha National Liberation Front’s area where an understanding was reached, and in Dum Dum.

The Left Front has fought together since 1967, and registered its lowest tally ever in 2009, coinciding with the Trinamool’s highest

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