The 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal were bitterly fought. The Bharatiya Janata Party marshalled all its resources, pumping in huge sums of money, bringing in national leaders, influencing election arrangements and getting large sections of the national media to portray it as the favourite.
In the end, it all came to nought. The BJP fell well short of victory. The Trinamool Congress swept the state, winning 48% of the vote and 73% of seats – its best performance ever*.
How did it manage this feat? Here are seven reasons – collated through Scroll.in’s ground reports during the election – which explain how Mamata Banerjee managed to stop India’s most formidable election machine in its tracks.
- Mamata’s vast cash-transfer welfare state
This was, by some distance, the single biggest factor driving votes to the Trinamool.
The Trinamool has, since it came to power in 2011, turbocharged welfare in the state. This includes, amongst other things, regular cash…