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Celebration at Singhu Border as Farmers Rejoice BJP’s Defeat in WB Elections

Why are farmers happy with the defeat of the BJP in West Bengal, and how they celebrated?

Swati Sharma
image source- Indian Express
Image source- Indian Express

In early March, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha advised farmers' groups to kick off a "No Vote to BJP" campaign in West Bengal. During Mahapanchayat in Kolkata on 12 March, farmer leader, Balbir Singh addressed a press conference. He said we are not asking to support any specific party. We are only appealing to Bengal people to vote against the BJP against the farmer's interest. We appeal to vote any party other than BJP, he added. 

On 2 May, the results came out, and the Trinamool Congress won with a massive victory. The farmers enjoyed a lot at the Singhu protest site on the Delhi-Haryana border. It is being said that the WB Chief Minister got the victory by the Jatts. All farmers are so happy with the defeat of the BJP and celebrate the Mamta Banerjee’s victory with Pakoras. 

Trinamool Congress won the assembly elections on 2 May with a great majority of 213 of the total 280 seats after an eight-phased election that continued for a month. Dharminder had handed over the phone to Satnam Singh Ajnala[The general secretary of the Punjab-based farmer union jamhoori kisan sabha]. The Bharatiya Janata Party's defeat overjoyed Ajnala. "when we addressed them during mahapanchayat, we could read their faces that they are not going to let the BJP win," he said. We informed them in our campaign that the BJP was a fascist party, and it divides the people into communal lines, besides allowing the corporate industries to ruin the farmers. 

After weeks following the mahapanchayat in Kolkata, several similar protests and events of "No Vote to BJP" has been held across the state. After two days of mahapanchayat, on 14 March, the farmer leader Rakesh Tikait was addressed in Nandigram. Mamta Banerjee from TMC fought and get defeated from Nandigram to the former TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari, who is in the BJP party now.  

"When the government of India is not afraid of over five lakh people at the Delhi borders, who have built permanent houses on the roads there, imagine what games will be played by the government and what will happen in Bengal," Tikait told the crowd. 

"Our morcha has been able to kindle a political polarisation against the BJP," Ajnala told me. "The BJP played a political gamble, as they broke away the TMC candidates, resorted to violence, used money," Ajnala said. "People here are so happy because of the BJP's defeat—who has won is secondary; the satisfaction we have now is that BJP suffered a humiliating defeat in Bengal." The BJP's growth in the state had been phenomenal, winning just three assembly seats in the 2016 state elections to securing 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections. These 42 parliamentary seats roughly covered 128 assembly constituencies, and the BJP had proclaimed great confidence about securing a majority in the run-up to the counting day. 

"The people have shown the impact of our highly emotional appeal," Rajewal said. "Mamata is coming to power for the third time—it is good, and the Modi government should learn a lesson that opposing the farmers would always cost them dearly. We were focused on the BJP's defeat; cadres from the Left parties were also in our protests staged in Bengal. We left it to the people of Bengal to elect their government other than the BJP." 

Rajewal added that the farm leaders had taken a conscious decision not to campaign in favor of any particular party because it would have made it easier for the BJP to dismiss them. "We never gave any chance to the BJP to say that we came to help out any particular party, as that would have narrowed down our campaign," he explained. 

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