The Left Front will form the next government, its eighth, in West Bengal, Biman Bose, chairman of the State's Left Front Committee asserted here on Tuesday.
“I am clearly saying that the Left Front will form its eighth government…There can be nothing other than this,” he told a press conference here at the close of the final phase of elections.
Though reluctant to come up with the expected tally, when confronted with persistent questions whether it would be “below or above 200,” he said: “Below 200.” The total number of seats up for grabs is 294.
And now that the polls are over, several television channels would come up with their own assessments “creating confusion among the people…targeting the Left Front,” to say that it is “not winning [this time around],” Mr. Bose said.
“It will not be surprising to see these channels already announcing the defeat of the Left Front [before counting of votes begins].”
There were “bogus exit polls” in the State even in the past, Mr. Bose pointed out, citing the outcome of such exercises held by different media groups after the 2001 Assembly elections. But the results were way off the mark.
“The same thing will happen in 2011…Exaggerated views will be expressed, analysis will be made….the pundits will pontificate. But the results will show how hollow they [such utterances] are.”
Sceptical of the accuracy of exit polls, Mr. Bose questioned their “scientific basis.” He wondered whether they reflected the views of different economic groups and the differing perceptions in different districts, where their characteristic factors are at work.
More importantly, he asked whether exit polls could amply reflect the views of voters who were not forthcoming, though they might have changed their minds since the 2009 Lok Sabha polls (when the Left suffered major reverses) owing to the sustained Left campaign. Mr. Bose pointed out that in the coming days two days before counting started on May 13 “concerted efforts to confuse the people by a section of both the print and electronic media” would continue.
Lies and canards
“The Left Front has had to fight against lies and canards spread against it by a section of the media even before the elections.”
On the high turnout in the elections, including in the last phase, Mr. Bose pointed out that “it is not an exceptional phenomenon.” As for the sixth phase “the results will reflect whether the people [in Jangal Mahal] are for the forces of peace or those against peace.”
“The scenario in West Bengal cannot be compared with that in other States….It is different here where people are keen to participate in the voting system and want to exercise and exert their democratic rights.”
Like other times in the past, “this time too [the high turnout] will go to our advantage,” Mr. Bose said.