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West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1991

West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1991

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Bengal_Legislative_Assembly_election,_1991
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Legislative Assembly elections were held in the Indian state of West Bengal in 1991. Legislative Assembly elections were held in the Indian state of West Bengal in 1996.

West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1991

← 1987 24 April 1991 1996 →

All 294 seats in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly
  First party Second party
 
Leader Jyoti Basu Mamata Banerjee
Party CPI(M) INC
Alliance LF Congress+
Leader's seat Satgachhia None
Seats won 244 47
Seat change n/a
Popular vote 17,629,142 11,229,396

Chief Minister before election

Jyoti Basu
LDF

Chief Minister

Jyoti Basu
LDF

The election took place simultaneously with the Indian general election, 1991.[1][2] The term of the assembly elected in 1987 lasted until February 1992, but the West Bengal government asked the Election Commission of India to arrange the election at an earlier date.[3]

Parties contesting the election

Left Front

The campaign of the Left Front focused on issues relating to secularism, communal harmony and the Mandal Commission.[4][5]

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the dominant partner in the Left Front, opted to deny reelection to 23 incumbent legislators, including one minister (Abdul Bari).[5] In total CPI(M) fielded 204 candidates, All India Forward Bloc 34, RSP 23, CPI 12, West Bengal Socialist Party 4, Marxist Forward Bloc 2, DSP 2, RCPI 2, CRLI 1, JD 8 and the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League 1.[6][7]

Congress

The Indian National Congress had seat-sharing arrangement, whereby INC contested 285 seats, the Jharkhand Party 4, the GNLF 3, UCPI 1 and 1 independent.[7]

Ahead of the 1991 elections, the Indian National Congress brought back former Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray into the party and appointed him head of the West Bengal party unit.[5] Whilst the Indian National Congress was keen to exploit Ray's popularity, the CPI(M) organ Ganashakti published articles on daily basis reminding voters of Ray's role during the Emergency.[5]

The Indian National Congress was suffering from internal divisions in West Bengal at the time of the election.[4] The West Bengal state party HQ was attacked by disgruntled Congressmen.[4] In the midst of a rally in Diamond Harbour, with Rajiv Gandhi as speaker, rival Congress factions clashes.[4]

At the time, the United Communist Party of India was a Congress ally.[3] UCPI fielded a single candidate in Chandrakona constituency, who finished in second place.[6]

Bharatiya Janata Party

The Bharatiya Janata Party fielded 291 candidates across the state, and managed to increase its share of votes from 0.51% in 1987 to 11.34%.[6][8] This was the first time BJP fielded such a large number of candidates in West Bengal assembly elections.[8] Rather than focusing primarily on the Ayodhya issue, which was highlighted in the BJP campaigns across the country, the West Bengal BJP campaign concentrated on agitations against immigration from Bangladesh.[9] The campaign sought to invoke Bengali memories of Partition.[9] Whilst support for BJP increased amongst Bengali communities, its main stronghold in the state remained non-Bengali populations in Calcutta (Marwaris and Gujaratis).[9]

Socialist Unity Centre of India

The Socialist Unity Centre of India fielded 59 candidates, contesting as independents.[7] It had launched an electoral front ahead of the polls, along with some Naxalite factions, the Workers Party of India, a RCPI faction and the Bolshevik Party of India.[10] SUCI won two seats.[7]

Results

The election was won by the Left Front, marking its fourth consecutive assembly election victory.[11] The Left Front and allies won 245 out of the 294 seats.[6][11]

Party Candidates Seats Votes %
Left Front & allies Communist Party of India (Marxist)
204 182 10,954,379 35.37%
All India Forward Bloc 34 29 1,707,676 5.51
Revolutionary Socialist Party 23 18 1,073,445 3.47
Communist Party of India 12 6 542,964 1.75
West Bengal Socialist Party 4 4 208,147 0.67
Marxist Forward Bloc 2 2 130,454 0.42
Democratic Socialist Party (Prabodh Chandra) 2 2 98,905 0.39
Revolutionary Communist Party of India 2 1 92,544 0.30
Biplobi Bangla Congress 1 0 50,414 0.16
Janata Dal 8 1 208,951 0.67
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League 1 0 35,489 0.11
Communist Revolutionary League of India 1 0 22,716 0.07
Congress & allies Indian National Congress 284 43 10,875,834 35.12
Gorkha National Liberation Front 3 3 146,541 0.47
Jharkhand Party 6 1 140,391 0.45
United Communist Party of India 1 0 40,806 0.13
Congress-supported independent 1 0 40,426 0.13
Bharatiya Janata Party 291 0 3,513,121 11.34
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 23 0 95,038 0.31
Bahujan Samaj Party 97 0 88,836 0.29
Janata Party 78 0 50,037 0.16
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) 18 0 41,828 0.14
Indian People's Front 23 0 39,004 0.13
Indian Union Muslim League 28 0 28,156 0.09
Amra Bangalee 60 0 22,295 0.07
Workers Party of India 6 0 10,670 0.03
Hul Jharkhand Party 3 0 9,239 0.03
Doordashti Party 26 0 4,980 0.02
Marxist Communist Party of India 5 0 3,804 0.01
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha 5 0 1,553 0.01
Akhil Bharatiya Jan Sangh 6 0 1,485 0.00
Indian National Congress (O) Anti Merger Group 5 0 1,309 0.00
All India Dalit Muslim Minorities Suraksha Mahasangh 2 0 988 0.00
Revolutionary Communist Party of India (Gouranga Sit) 1 0 983 0.00
Shiv Sena 1 0 880 0.00
Indian Congress (Socialist-Sarat Chandra Sinha) 1 0 876 0.00
Bolshevik Party of India 1 0 335 0.00
Bharat Dal 1 0 203 0.00
Lok Dal 1 0 121 0.00
Bidhan Dal 1 0 92 0.00
Independents
Including Socialist Unity Centre of India candidates
631 2 684,130 2.21%
Total 1,903 294 30,970,045 100
Source: Election Commission of India[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ M. L. Ahuja (2000). Handbook of General Elections and Electoral Reforms in India, 1952–1999. Mittal Publications. p. 49. ISBN 978-81-7099-766-5. 
  2. ^ The Hindu. The case against simultaneous polls
  3. ^ a b Ananth V. Krishna (1 September 2011). India Since Independence: Making Sense Of Indian Politics. Pearson Education India. p. 385. ISBN 978-81-317-3465-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d India Today. State assemblies: Of crucial importance
  5. ^ a b c d India Today. Assembly elections: Seeking a separate strategy
  6. ^ a b c d Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1991 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF WEST BENGAL
  7. ^ a b c d Communist Party of India (Marxist). West Bengal State Committee. Election results of West Bengal: statistics & analysis, 1952–1991. The Committee. p. 4. 
  8. ^ a b Pratap Chandra Swain (2001). Bharatiya Janata Party: Profile and Performance. APH Publishing. p. 214. ISBN 978-81-7648-257-8. 
  9. ^ a b c Christophe Jaffrelot (1999). The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s : Strategies of Identity-building, Implantation and Mobilisation (with Special Reference to Central India). Penguin Books India. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-14-024602-5. 
  10. ^ Shiv Lal (1992). Election Archives and International Politics (191–196 ed.). Shiv Lal. p. 194. 
  11. ^ a b Sumantra Bose (16 September 2013). Transforming India. Harvard University Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-674-72819-6. 
  12. ^ Communist Party of India (Marxist). West Bengal State Committee. Election results of West Bengal: statistics & analysis, 1952–1991. The Committee. pp. 4, 69. 


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