Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Lost In three of the five states that voted last month to renew local parliaments, including the most important one by the number of voters, West Bengal, which has a population of nearly 100 million, is its capital, Calcutta.
The election results, announced on May 2, were especially awaited, given that in recent weeks Modi and his party have done everything to win, among other things by continuing to organize rallies that saw large crowds, despite the coronavirus epidemic. . His opponents accused him of belittling The dramatic second wave From the ongoing casualties in the country to increase its support.
Elections took place over a period of a month in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and in the territories of Puducherry.
The one deemed the most important – and the one Modi wanted to win at any cost – was West Bengal, the most populous state of the five, with the BJP never winning. The winner was the Trinamall Conference led by Mamata Banerjee, known as Didi (“Big Sister”), who asserted herself at the helm for a third consecutive term. Banerjee, the only woman to lead an Indian state government, was first elected in 2011, defeat Of those democratically elected, what was then the longest-running Communist government in the world.
During the election campaign, members of the Trinamall Congress repeatedly accused the BJP and Modi of direct responsibility for the new wave of infections, and in particular criticized the government’s choice to hold crowded rallies that would have contributed to the spread of the virus. They also strongly criticized the election commission’s decision to hold the elections in eight stages, instead of assembling them to avoid potential contagion opportunities.
For its part, Modi’s party has focused heavily on West Bengal, which is a major state always led by opponents: The BJP, whose constituency is mainly Hindus, has waged a very difficult election campaign against Banerjee, accusing him of favoring Muslims. The state’s population (about 3% of the total) is at the expense of the neediest Hindus.
At some rallies, BJP members defined the term ‘BJP’Begum“, Of Turkish origin and meaning for Muslims” lady / princess “, was used as an insult to the leader of the Trinamol conference (who belongs to the Hindu religion). During the election campaign, Modi’s long and unusual white beard grew Relative to some It would have been a way to look like the Bengali poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, who was hugely popular in the state and thus trying to win over West Bengal voters.
The BJP had also nominated a famous Indian actor, Mithun Chakraborty, and proposed him as the future head of the state government, after his failed attempt to nominate a former captain of Indian national cricket team Saurav Ganguly. In the end, the Trinamall Congress secured 213 of the 294 seats in the local parliament, while the BJP stood at 77: far more than the three seats it won in the last elections of 2016, but was still considered insufficient to speak of a satisfactory. calendar.
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The BJP won in the northeastern state of Assam, the only state out of five states it has already ruled since 2016 along with Sarbananda Sunwal. In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the main local opposition party, Dravida Monetra Kazagam (DMK), led by Muthophil Karunanidhi Stalin won, and the BJP won only four seats; In Kerala, the left-wing coalition led by the incumbent head of the local government, Pinarayi Vijayan, won from the Indian Communist Party (ICC), while the BJP won no seats; In the territory of Puducherry, which includes four non-contiguous enclaves, the local party All India NR Congress (AINRC), in alliance with the BJP: the former won 10 of the available 30 seats, while the second received only 5 seats.