Spare A Thought for West Bengal
And we shall see. The results of this election lead to continuity, in governance and in political equation overall. Except in one state, that is. Indeed, West Bengal just experienced a mini-revolution. After 32 years of Left Front rule, this is suddenly the first time when the opposition has done better than the ruling left front.
This is already creating a flutter. Yes, even the boring, unemotional communist leadership is shaken. Besides, this is being seen as the Semi-final of the power struggle in West Bengal. The state elections are due in two years, in 2011. [The opposition being in power in Delhi may also look at various pretexts to dismiss the state government before that and force an early election] The media is already abuzz with speculation of impending fall of the communist rule in Bengal. Even the leftists are confounded - there is talk of a public sentiment against them and everyone for the moment trying to gauge what went so wrong. And, it is proving to be difficult to pin down what really went wrong - and several theories, on the left and the right, are floating around.
I have an alternative theory to offer, and I shall say it now. I do think the voter fatigue and the Congress-Mamta coalition have all worked, but only marginally. After all, CPIM has been in power for 32 years, and we tired of them quite a while back. Besides, the party Mamta leads is only an offshoot of Congress, so such alignment may not necessarily have brought new voters in the fold.