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West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1977

West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1977

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Bengal_Legislative_Assembly_election,_1977

Legislative Assembly elections was held in the Indian state of West Bengal on 14 June 1977.[1] The polls took place after the ousting of Indira Gandhi's government at the Centre. The Left Front won a land-slide victory, much to the surprise of the left parties themselves. The 1977 election marked the beginning of the 34-year Left Front rule in West Bengal, with Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Jyoti Basu leading the first Left Front cabinet.

Background

After the Janata Party won the national parliamentary election in March 1977 the new government in Delhi opted to dissolve the assemblies in nine states where the Indian National Congress (R) had lost the parliamentary polls and call for fresh elections.[2] West Bengal was one of these states.[2] The Congress(R) opposed the dissolution of the assemblies, the incumbent West Bengal Congress(R) government petitioned the Supreme Court of India.[2] The Supreme Court rejected the petition on 30 April 1977 and the West Bengal assembly was dissolved on order from the acting president B.D. Jatti.[2]

Ahead of the March 1977 parliamentary election the Left Front (a new alliance led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)) and the Janata Party had contested with a seat-sharing agreement.[2] With the assembly elections approaching, the two sides sought to build a seat-sharing agreement.[2] But the negotiation turned fruitless, and the Left Front and Janata Party parted ways.[2] The Left Front had offered the Janata Party 56% of the seats and the post as Chief Minister to Janata Party leader Prafulla Chandra Sen, but the Janata Party insisted on 70% of the seats.[3]

There were 25,984,474 eligible voters, voter turn-out stood at 56.15%.[4]

Campaign

In most areas the West Bengal assembly election saw a triangular contest between the Left Front, the Congress(R) and the Janata Party for the 294 seats across the constituency.[2] The Left Front fielded 293 candidates; CPI(M) contested 224 seats, the All India Forward Bloc 36, the Revolutionary Socialist Party 23, the Marxist Forward Bloc 3, the Revolutionary Communist Party of India 4, the Biplobi Bangla Congress 2 and 1 Left Front supported independent.[4][5][6] Congress(R) contested 290 seats and Janata Party 289 seats.[4]

Results

The Left Front won the election, winning 231 out of the 294 seats.[7][4][5] The electoral result came as a surprise to the Left Front itself, as it had offered 52% of the seats in the pre-electoral seat sharing talks with the Janata Party.[2][8] On 21 June 1977 the Left Front formed a government with Jyoti Basu as its Chief Minister.[8][9] The first cabinet meeting of the Left Front government ordered the release of political prisoners.[10]

Provisional Central Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) leader Santosh Rana was elected as an independent from Gopiballavpur.[11]

Party Candidates Seats Votes %
Left Front Communist Party of India (Marxist) 224 178 5,080,828 35.46
All India Forward Bloc 36 25 750,229 5.24
Revolutionary Socialist Party 23 20 536,625 3.74
Revolutionary Communist Party of India 4 3 75,156 0.52
Marxist Forward Bloc 3 3 58,466 0.41
Biplobi Bangla Congress 2 1 35,457 0.25
LF independent 1 1 32,238 0.22
Janata Party 289 29 2,869,391 20.02
Indian National Congress (R) 290 20 3,298,063 23.02
Communist Party of India 63 2 375,560 2.62
Socialist Unity Centre of India 29 4 211,752 1.48
Indian Union Muslim League 32 1 54,942 0.38
Workers Party of India 2 1 29,221 0.20
Jharkhand Party 2 0 5,701 0.04
Republican Party of India 3 0 1,652 0.01
All India Gorkha League 2 0 810 0.01
Bharater Biplobi Communist Party 1 0 489 0.00
Independents 566 7 912,612 6.37
Total 1,572 294 14,329,201 100
Source: ECI

References

  1. ^ West Bengal (India); Jatindra Chandra Sengupta (1978). West Bengal District Gazetteers: Nadiā. State editor, West Bengal District Gazetteers. p. 420. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i N. Jose Chander (1 January 2004). Coalition Politics: The Indian Experience. Concept Publishing Company. p. 105. ISBN 978-81-8069-092-1. 
  3. ^ The Wire. Why Has Nobody Called It Yet? An Analysis of the West Bengal Elections
  4. ^ a b c d Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1977 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF WEST BENGAL
  5. ^ a b Bharati Mukherjee (1 January 1991). Political Culture and Leadership in India: A Study of West Bengal. Mittal Publications. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-81-7099-320-9. 
  6. ^ Communist Party of India (Marxist). West Bengal State Committee. Election results of West Bengal: statistics & analysis, 1952-1991. The Committee. p. 419. 
  7. ^ New Left Review. RED BENGAL’S RISE AND FALL
  8. ^ a b People's Democracy. West Bengal: How The Left Front And Its Government Emerged
  9. ^ People's Democracy. Thirty Years of Left Front Government in West Bengal
  10. ^ Hindustan Times. Timeline of Left Front government in West Bengal
  11. ^ Times of India. CPI(ML) MLA Santosh Rana quits party


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