New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) A deep dive into poll data reveals the outcomes in the multiple-phase election since 2010 in Bihar: the result showed a one-sided contest. Ditto for Uttar Pradesh in 2012, Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and West Bengal in 2016.
Extending this argument further, the same thing transpired in the Bihar 2015 Assembly polls, where it rained votes for one formation only. The Bihar Assembly election in 2010 was held in six phases over a period of one month starting from October 21 until November 20 in all 243 constituencies. The result was a slam dunk in favour of the JD(U)-BJP alliance which routed Lalu Prasad’s RJD.
The JD(U) contested 141 seats, winning 115, while the BJP fought 102 seats and won 91. Lalu Prasad’s party fought 168 seats, and ended up with a paltry 22. Two days before the second phase of voting, Naxals triggered a landmine in Sheohar district, killing six policemen. As a result, the district’s voting centres closed two hours earlier. The attack was seen as a resurgence in Naxal activity after a lull due to its timing during an election. Though the Naxals had called for a boycott of the polls, the second phase ended largely unscathed.
During the fourth phase of voting, more bombs were set off. On the eve of the fifth phase of voting, the Naxals called for a 24-hour bandh.
Then, West Bengal, where the Assembly elections were held in six phases between April 18 and May 10, 2011 for all 294 seats: It went like clockwork for newbie Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which managed to dethrone the Communist hegemony over the state after 34 years. This was a breakthrough election in many respects, none more important than adoption of redrawn electoral constituencies based on the 2001 Census, following the 2002 Delimitation Commission of India recommendations were approved in February 2008.
Two huge popular agitations preceded these elections – Nandigram and Tata Nano Singur – both flashpoints where she sided with Naxal-type elements. Banerjee’s TMC swept to power in conjunction with the Congress, winning 154 seats (contesting 184) while the Congress got 21 out of the 42 it had fought. It was truly a landmark election where she demolished the Left and stormed the Writers’ Building.
The next test for this theorem came in the UP polls 2012. Elections were held in seven phases from February 8 to March 3, 2012. Mulayam Singh Yadav wasn’t too sure of victory, even the majority of the opinion and exit polls suggested a hung Assembly, but the SP came through admirably, winning 224 seats of the 401 that it had contested.