All 294 seats in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly
148 seats needed for a majority
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had fielded 70 new candidates, but many of them failed to get elected. The All India Forward Bloc had suffered a split before the election, with the emergence of the Forward Bloc (Socialist).
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. Banerjee played an important role in rallying public support for the party.
The Left Front won the election, entering into government for a fifth consecutive term. Winning 203 out of 294 seats, the 1996 election represented the first major electoral set-back for the Left Front since its foundation. The electoral losses were primarily felt in Calcutta and the industrial areas, and nine incumbent Left Front ministers failed to get re-elected. All JD candidates finished in second place and RCPI lost its representation in the assembly. However, in terms of votes the Left Front and the five JD candidates got 18,143,795 votes (49.3%). Jyoti Basu's fifth Left Front government was sworn in, with 48 ministers representing all 13 districts of the state.
|Left Front and allies||Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Including candidates from Samajwadi Party contesting on CPI(M) tickets.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Source: Election Commission of India|
- 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.
- The Hindu. The case against simultaneous polls
- India Today. Shrinking mandate
- India Today. West Bengal: Advantage Left Front
- rediff.com. The X Factor
- Indian Express. TMC’s Madan Mitra electoral battle from jail looks a winner
- Communist Party of India (Marxist). Review of the May 2001 Assembly Elections (may 2001)
- N. Jose Chander (1 January 2004). Coalition Politics: The Indian Experience. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 105–111. ISBN 978-81-8069-092-1.
- Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1996 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF WEST BENGAL
- Election Commission of India. STATISTICAL REPORT ON GENERAL ELECTION, 1991 TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF WEST BENGAL