ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nothing Succeeds Like Success in West Bengal

The outcome of the West Bengal assembly elections raises important questions. For one, it questions the narrative of rural appeasement by populist schemes undertaken by the incumbent government versus discontent in urban areas. The success of the welfare schemes, in any case, is put in check by extortion, lumpen practices, corruption as well as discrimination in favour of Trinamool Congress supporters. The hurriedly put together alliance between the Left Front and Congress could offer no viable alternative to the ruling regime.

The outcome of the West Bengal assembly elections has thrown up more questions than provided answers. After the election results were known, a lot was talked about the welfare measures initiated by the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the last five years that propelled Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the TMC to resounding electoral success. These welfare schemes included food rations at a subsidised rates for a large section of the people, the Kanyashree scheme of cash transfers for girl students, cycles for students of classes nine and ten in rural areas, and potable water in villages under the Sajaldhara scheme. Better roads and improved supply of electricity too were considered feathers in the cap of the ruling TMC government. There is no denying that these programmes, however faulty in their implementation, created certain goodwill for the ruling party among the rural poor.

Untrue Urban–Rural Divide

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