TMC led by Mamata, was founded in 1997, after separating from Congress on the issue of foreign origin of Sonia. With 19 Lok Sabha members, it is the sixth largest party in current Lok Sabha. The party has sizeable presence in W. Bengal and some N. Eastern states. TMC uprooted the 34-year rule of the Communist parties in West Bengal and Mamata became CM with a landslide victory in 2011.
The party is all about Mamata, Mamata and Mamata. She is a maverick leader and her popularity has taken a hit due to some controversial decisions. She has been both with the UPA and NDA (exhibiting that regional parties like hers have no ideology). She was a Railway minister in Vajpayee’s as well as MMS govt. She withdrew support to BJP govt. after Tehelka expose. In Sep. 2012, she withdrew support to the UPA due to govt. decision to allow FDI, diesel price hike etc. Which way she will go in 2014 Elections, nobody can say?
Mulayam and others are keen to keep her in Third Front. However, her entire politics is anti-Communist and Third Front without Left parties is not feasible. This makes the equation very tough.
Possibilities in Next Lok Sabha Elections
(i) TMC wins 30 seats (out of 42) and emerges as single largest party after Congress and BJP. She would like to become PM of Third Front. Left won’t support her and hence this scenario is almost impossible.
(ii) TMC wins 15-20 seats (similar to current position) as I feel her popularity has dipped. In this case she can go with either UPA or NDA depending upon who offers a better deal.