West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1996

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

West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 1996
India
1991 ←
13 May 1996 → 2001

All 294 seats in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly
  First party Second party
  Jyoti Basu - Calcutta 1996-12-21 089 Cropped.png Mamata banerjee.jpg
Leader Jyoti Basu Mamata Banerjee
Party CPI(M) INC
Alliance LF Congress+
Leader's seat Satgachhia None
Seats won 203 82
Seat change n/a
Popular vote 17,629,142 11,229,396

Chief Minister before election

Jyoti Basu
Left Front (West Bengal)

Chief Minister

Jyoti Basu
Left Front (West Bengal)

The election took place simultaneously with the Indian general election, 1996.[1][2]

Parties

Left Front

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had fielded 70 new candidates, but many of them failed to get elected.[3] The All India Forward Bloc had suffered a split before the election, with the emergence of the Forward Bloc (Socialist).[3]

The Left Front supported Janata Dal candidates in five constituencies.

Indian National Congress

In the Congress Party, there was confrontation between West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Soumen Mitra and Indian Youth Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.[4] Banerjee played an important role in rallying public support for the party.[4][5]

The Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury contested the Nabagram seat from jail, being imprisoned on murder charges.[6] His speeches were recorded from prison and played at campaign meetings.[6]

The Indian National Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had entered into alliance.[7]

Results

The Left Front won the election, entering into government for a fifth consecutive term.[3] Winning 203 out of 294 seats, the 1996 election represented the first major electoral set-back for the Left Front since its foundation.[8][9] The electoral losses were primarily felt in Calcutta and the industrial areas, and nine incumbent Left Front ministers failed to get re-elected.[8] All JD candidates finished in second place and RCPI lost its representation in the assembly.[9] However, in terms of votes the Left Front and the five JD candidates got 18,143,795 votes (49.3%).[10] Jyoti Basu's fifth Left Front government was sworn in, with 48 ministers representing all 13 districts of the state.[8]

Party Candidates Seats Votes %
Left Front and allies Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Including candidates from Samajwadi Party contesting on CPI(M) tickets.
213 153 13,670,198 37.16
All India Forward Bloc 34 21 1,912,183 5.20
Revolutionary Socialist Party 23 18 1,367,439 3.72
Communist Party of India 12 6 642,993 1.75
Marxist Forward Bloc 2 2 150,099 0.41
Democratic Socialist Party (Prabodh Chandra) 2 2 129,367 0.35
Revolutionary Communist Party of India (Rasik Bhatt) 2 0 105,366 0.29
Biplobi Bangla Congress 1 1 60,453 0.16
Janata Dal 5 0 105,697 0.29
Indian National Congress 288 82 14,523,964 39.48
Bharatiya Janata Party 292 0 2,372,480 6.45
Gorkha National Liberation Front 3 3 161,498 0.44
Jharkhand Party (Naren) 8 1 145,503 0.40
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 26 0 134,436 0.37
Forward Bloc (Socialist) 20 1 123,316 0.34
Bahujan Samaj Party 48 0 67,853 0.18
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation 30 0 47,206 0.13
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League 3 0 43,261 0.12
All India Indira Congress (Tiwari) 29 0 20,555 0.06
Muslim League 20 0 19,221 0.05
Amra Bangalee 46 0 17,330 0.05
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Mardi) 5 0 11,593 0.03
Pachim Banga Rajya Muslim League 5 0 5,359 0.01
Indian National League 7 0 4,480 0.01
Social Action Party 16 0 4,476 0.01
Jharkhand Party 5 0 3,533 0.01
Hul Jharkhand Party 2 0 3,309 0.01
Bharatiya Minorities Suraksha Mahasangh 2 0 2,448 0.01
Samajwadi Jan Parishad 2 0 1,218 0.00
Indian Democratic People's Party 3 0 515 0.00
All India Christian Democratic and Backward People's Party 1 0 392 0.00
Indian Union Muslim League 1 0 251 0.00
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha 2 0 178 0.00
Akhil Bharatiya Jan Sangh 1 0 49 0.00
Independents 844 4 898,677 2.44
Total 2,035 294 36,788,753 100
Source: Election Commission of India[9]

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 c India Today. Shrinking mandate
  4. ^ a b India Today. West Bengal: Advantage Left Front
  5. ^ rediff.com. The X Factor
  6. ^ a b Indian Express. TMC’s Madan Mitra electoral battle from jail looks a winner
  7. ^ Communist Party of India (Marxist). Review of the May 2001 Assembly Elections (may 2001)
  8. ^ a b c N. Jose Chander (1 January 2004). Coalition Politics: The Indian Experience. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 105–111. ISBN 978-81-8069-092-1. 
  9. ^ a b c Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1996 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF WEST BENGAL
  10. ^ Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1991 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF WEST BENGAL
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