KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress has won almost three-fourths of the seats in the West Bengal assembly, but its showing in reserved seats demonstrates that the BJP’s attempts at social engineering were successful to a considerable extent. The 84 reserved seats – 68 for SC and 16 for ST – saw a much closer contest between the two major rivals in terms of seats won as well as vote shares than the general seats.
The TMC won 45 of the reserved seats, the BJP 39. Thus, the TMC had just 15% more reserved seats than BJP. In general seats, on the other hand, TMC’s tally of 169 was four and a half times as much as BJP’s 38. The gap in vote share between the two in general seats was 13 percentage points – 49.2% against 36.2%. In the seats reserved for SC, that narrowed to under four percentage points with TMC getting 46.2% and the BJP 42.8%. In ST seats the gap was even narrower, the TMC’s share being 45.2% and the BJP’s 44%.
The good news for the Trinamool is that in both SC and ST seats, the current performance improved upon the 2019 showing, when the BJP had led in 46 segments and the TMC in just 37. In terms of vote share, too, the BJP had the edge over TMC in the reserved seats two years ago.