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While pollsters and political pundits are busy speculating about various electoral outcomes in Bengal, there seems to be one thing they all seem to agree on — the colossal weakening of the incumbent Trinamool Congress in recent years.
The argument that pro-Trinamool analysts are employing is that the residual charisma of Mamata Banerjee may spring a surprise on May 2, the overall decline of the TMC and an intense level of anti-incumbency notwithstanding. On the other hand, there are concerns that even if the BJP wins, it may end up endorsing the same politics of fear and revenge that has put the Trinamool on the back foot.
In the fast-changing political dynamics of the state, there is a consensus that the systematic rigging and violence during the 2018 panchayat election was a watershed moment that triggered political change. It was after this that the thick social base of the Left decided to shift over to the BJP as the former was considered incapable of taking on the repressive power of the incumbent regime.
In this backdrop, it is pertinent to delineate the reasons for this repressive political culture in Bengal.
As per the Bengal model of ‘party society’, as political scientist […]