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The message from West Bengal (Hindu editorial, Relevant for GS Mains Paper II, Topic : Election trends in States)

Reasons for victory of Mamta Banerjee’ Party, Trinamool Congress in West Bengal Elections
1.    The decision of the State unit of the party to forge a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress was unacceptable to voters who regarded the alliance as a measure to secure electoral dividends only.
2.     Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee went back to the people with a firmness of conviction. She owned the record of her five years in office. Elections in India, especially at the State level, now pivot less on anti-incumbency. With the increased focus on development and delivery of essential services over the last two decades, incumbency is not always a disadvantage. 
3.    Ms. Banerjee won West Bengal in 2011 when the Left Front had its back to the wall. She has retained it, now in 2016, by knitting together a welfare politics that not only borrows freely from the Left’s economic agenda, but also customises outreach — Rs.2 per kg rice, cycles for students, stipends for young women who continue their studies, recruitment of special police constables from the Maoist belt of Jangalmahal, recreation facilities, and so on. 
However, this has left Ms. Banerjee’s government struggling with a debt-GDP ratio of 35.5 per cent. But her opponents were not exactly cornering her on that.



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