Low wages, lack of work and smart tactical moves became the deciding factor in the Alipurduar Lok Sabha constituency of West Bengal in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Alipurduar mainly consists of tea garden workers who all account for more than 40 per cent of the voters in the region. The crisis of the tea garden workers has been there for more than 20 years and it has worsened day by day. They are just living with the hope that change will come and their conditions will get better. They have been suffering due to lack of job opportunities, low salary and shutting down of tea estates in the region.
Political leaders who have come and gone had given assurances that they will improve their conditions but the promises have not been kept. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress (TMC) won in Alipurduar defeating Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), by a margin of 21,000 votes. The people believed that TMC will work for the betterment of their condition, but nothing changed. Dasharath Tirkey, the TMC MP from Alipurduar, has been repeatedly alleged of not standing beside the tea gardens workers during their distress, though he promised to work for their betterment.
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on the other hand gave the ticket of the constituency to John Barla, who is one of the most well known Adivasi leaders in the region and has been there to help the tea garden workers. This move by BJP worked like magic as the people wanted change and John Barla is the best person to bring change in their condition.
Moreover, the region of Alipurduar is also populated by Hindu refugees from Bangladesh. So BJP's policies regarding favouring the Hindu refugees of Bangladesh also worked like magic in the case of deciding the result of the Alipurduar constituency.
TMC's negligence, overconfidence and BJP's smart tactical moves decided the fate of the Alipurduar constituency.