New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) has scored a thumping win in the race against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal. The latest data from the Election Commission showed that incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party was leading in 213 seats compared to BJP’s 77.
This would be the third consecutive term for the TMC and Mamata Banerjee who stormed to power in 2011 overthrowing a communist government that ruled the state for over three decades.
However, there would be a bitter taste from Nandigram, where Didi, as the TMC supremo is popularly called in Bengal, lost to her former aide, Suvendu Adhikari, who won by a narrow margin of 1700 seats. “Let the Nandigram people give whatever verdict they want, I accept that. I don’t mind,” Banerjee said earlier in the day, Business Insider reported.
A total 34 leaders from the TMC left the party to join to the BJP ahead of this election. However, only 13 of them got the tickets to fight in the polls. As it stands right now, only three of the turncoats have a lead over their former colleagues.
Faced with the challenge from the mighty Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fought tooth and nail in a high-decibel and intensely violent battle where both sides held no punches, verbal or physical, back. BJP, which claimed it would win over 200 seats in Bengal, and left no stone unturned in its bid, has ended up with less than half of what it aimed for.
All that violence and political drama over the last year have come to fruition as the results for the 294 seats — the polls in 2 of those, in Jangipur and Samserganj, were postponed were delayed due to the deaths of contesting candidates — which took place over 8 long phases.
TMC wants a third straight term whereas the BJP wanted to sustain its uptrend in the state — the saffron party’s vote share went from 17% in 2014 to over 40% in 2019 — enough to claim the seat of power. The vote share of BJP has just fallen short of its tally in 2019 and nearly all the seats that it has gained has come at the expense of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its alliance partners like Congress.