Mamata Banerjee-led TMC poised to retain West Bengal
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has taken a comfortable lead in West Bengal, which witnessed one of the most high-octane campaigns in the last few weeks. As per the Election Commission's trends for 284 of the total 294 seats, TMC is leading on 202 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 77 seats. The latest reports suggest that Mamata Banerjee is also leading.
A bitter fight will reach its climax today
West Bengal saw the clash of political titans, with BJP sending its biggest names to the state frequently in a bid to wrest power from TMC. It also tried puncturing TMC's hopes for a third consecutive term by welcoming senior leaders into the party. On the other hand, Banerjee had turned the contest into an insider v/s outsider battle.
Polls continued despite a steep rise in coronavirus figures
It's also pertinent to highlight that polls happened in West Bengal amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases across the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also participated in electioneering and halted them only after receiving flak. Evidently, coronavirus-linked protocols were shredded to pieces during the campaign and even leaders like Home Minister Amit Shah were spotted without a mask.
The story seems to have changed in Nandigram
In Nandigram, Banerjee's former aide Suvendu Adhikari was said to be leading by nearly 7,000 votes in the morning. But the latest reports claim that Banerjee has now caught up to him. She is leading by 2,700 votes, states TOI. Nandigram holds special importance for Banerjee as it was the land acquisition row in this rural area that catapulted her to power.
Meanwhile, Vijayvargiya is confident BJP will form government
On the latest numbers, BJP's General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the initial trends are not "the real indicator of the final outcome." "We will cross the magic figure by evening. I am sure that we will form the next government in West Bengal," he told TOI. Notably, exit polls had predicted a close contest between TMC ad BJP.