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Cleric Abbas hold key as TMC struggle to win polls

by panchali

Nirmalya Mukherjee

Can Abbas Siddique’s Indian Secular Front cut into TMC votes? If so, then who benefits? The obvious answer is BJP. Then why is CPM sharing seat with ISF.

A puzzle doing the rounds who is CPM’s number one enemy – TMC or BJP? CPM insiders said `it is both’. However, analysis and equations speak of a different picture.
At present Abbas is in a sharing alliance with CPM in 30 seats. Congress is yet to decide. ISF is expected to fight in 40 seats. If ISF fails it will damage the alliance and also cut into TMC minority vote bank. Abbas today thundered at a Brigade rally to remove BJP and TMC from the state at all costs.
According to political observers, it hardly matters to CPM whether their motley combination with Congress and ISF remain alive or note.
Says a TMC leader, “ the main purpose is to cut into our minority vote bank’’. As per observers, the it is rare that Marxist- CPM has shared platform with a religious party is also rare. Although Abbas has named his party as a secular front it has a religious undertone. “ They could be considered as BJP’s – B team like Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM’’ said the leader.
The undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) had also supported the Muslim League’s Pakistan Resolution of 1940. A CPM state committee member “ there is logic in this argument. But I believe that Abbas’s influence will cut into TMC and BJP’’.
TMC had upstaged the party’s 34-year regimented rule in 2011. Since then, CPM has passed into oblivion losing all Parliament seats from Bengal. At present it has 33 seats in the state assembly but lost all the seats in the 2019 lok sabha polls.
Interesting, the attempt for a CPM – Congress alliance in 2019 lok sabha polls failed over a difference of one seat. The TMC leader said, “it is surprising that they have shared 30 seats with Abbas without bargaining’’.
As per 2019 lok sabha polls CPM and Congress together have 13 per cent votes and are ahead in only 9 seats. In 2016 assembly polls CPM won 33 seats and and Congress 44. In the 2019 polls CPM lost all seats and Congress posted leads in only 9 seats. Around 27 per cent of the duo’s votes shifted to BJP in 2019. CPM lost 20 per cent and Congress 7 per cent.
BJP has 41 per cent votes and is ahead in 121 assembly segments and TMC has 44 per cent votes and is ahead in 164 segments.
Poll surveys have suggested if BJP could swing 2 per cent of its lok sabha votes it will win the Bengal polls with 150 seats and TMC will be pushed down to 130 seats. The magic figure is 147. If TMC swings 2 per cent votes in its favour
Abbas stole the limelight from Asadduddin Owaisi AIMIM by floating ISF. Owaisi met Abbas in early January. It is unknown what transpired between the two. Owaisi urged Muslims to follow Siddique’s instructions.
In Bengal almost 30 per cent votes are Muslim votes. Seventy (70) of 294 state assembly seats are deeply Muslim dominated and 40 moderately spread out in six districts – Murshidabad (66.28%), Malda (51.27%) North Dinajpur (49.92%), Birbhum (37.06%) South 24 Parganas (35.5%) South Dinajpur (24.63%). Kolkata has 22% Muslim population.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls BJP secured 11 percent minority votes. Poll analysts have predicted a marginal edge for TMC in the upcoming 2021 polls. According to observers Bengal might witness exceptional results in 2021 with the third front combine of Left-Congress-ISF either emerging as a balancing factor or a massive swing in favour of BJP.

Disclaimer
This news article is prepared or accomplished by Nirmalya Mukherjee in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of kolkatatoday.com

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