Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi (File Photo)
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has been facing massive headwinds in key battleground state of West Bengal where it is locked in a neck-and-neck fight with the BJP which maintained a steady lead in 19-22 Lok Sabha seats. So far, the Election Commission of India has declared results for 15 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. Of the 15 seats, where results have been declared so far, the Trinamool Congress and the BJP bagged nine and five seats respectively. The Congress, on the other hand, managed to grab only one seat in the state.
BJP's Babul Supriyo, who had in 2014 elections defeated a formidable Trinamool Congress oponent to bag the Asansol seat, on Thursday retained the seat, deciminating AITC candidate and yesteryear actress Moon Moon Sen by a margin of 19,7637 votes.
Bengali superstar Deepak Adhikari, who was fighting the Lok Sabha polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket, was re-elected from the Ghatal seat. Popularly known as Dev, the high-profile candidate defeated his nearest rival from BJP, former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, by 1,07,973 votes, the Election Commission said. While Dev polled 7,17,959 votes, Ghosh got 6,09,986 votes, the EC said.
In Dum Dum Lok Sabha constituency, Trinamool Congress candidate Sougata Roy defeated BJP's Samik Bhattacharya by a margin of 53,002 votes. Trinamool Congress' Mala Roy defeats BJP candidate and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's relative Chandra Kumar Bose loses from the Kolkata Dakshin seat. Congress candidate and former president Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee loses the Jangipur Lok Sabha seat, which is clinched by Congress' Khalipur Rahaman.
In a thumping performance, BJP candidates Saumitra Khan and Locket Chatterjee emerged victorious in Bishnupur and Hooghly Lok Sabha seats for the first time in the history of West Bengal elections. While Chatterjee was fighting against Trinamool Congress' Ratna De, Khan was pitted against Saffron candidate Shyamal Santra.
In Srerampur Lok Sabha seat, Trinamool Congress' Kalyan Banerjee defeats BJP candidate Debjit Sarkar by a margin of 98,536 votes. Trinamool Congress candidate Abu Taher Khan defeats Trinamool Congress' Abu Neha by a margin of 22,6417 votes from the Murshidabad Lok Sabha seat.
BJP's Medinipur candidate Dilip Ghosh registered victory against Trinamool Congress'Manas Ranjan Bhunia. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Debasree Chaudhuri swept the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, defeating Trinamool Congress' Kanaialal Agarwal.
Trinamool Congress candidate Sajda Ahmed defeats BJP's Joy Banerjee by a margin of 21,5359 votes from the Uluberia Lok Sabha seats. Trinamool Congress' Dibyendu Adhikari defeated BJP candidate Sidharthashankar Naskar by a margin of 19,0165 votes from the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency.
Tollywood actress and Trinamool Congress candidate Mimi Chakraborty wins the Jadavpur Lok Sabha seats by defeating BJP's Anupam Hazra. BJP's SS Ahluwalia defeats Trinamool Congress candidate Mamtaz Sanghamitra by a margin of 2,439 votes to bag the Burdwan - Durgapur parliamentary constituency.
Counting for the remaining 27 Lok Sabha seats are currently underway and the final results are expected to be declared by early Friday morning.
According to latest Election Commission figures, the BJP was the main contender in 21 of the 22 seats where the Trinamool Congress was leading. The saffron party was giving the Trinamool Congress a run for its money even in terms of vote share having polled 39.81 per cent of votes counted so far. The TMC has clinched 43.8 per cent. The four-party Left Front, once a formidable force in the state, has garnered a measly 7.8 per cent of votes so far, and its candidates are leading in none of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.
The TMC had clinched 34 seats with 39.65 per cent of votes in 2014. Though the Left front pocketed 29.71 per cent votes, it could manage just two seats. The BJP, which was then considered a marginal player, had secured two seats with 17.02 per cent votes, and the Congress four seats, polling 9.58 per cent votes.
As the trends indicated a setback for Banerjee’s party, her residence at Kalighat and Trinamool Congress headquarters at E M Bypass looked abandoned. There was hardly any leader to be spotted. Even though police had cordoned off the area around Banerjee’s residence apprehending a huge turnout of supporters, only a handful of them were seen loitering around sullenly. The TMC headquarters were desolate with only a few policemen standing guard.
The saffron party workers and supporters, on the other hand, burst into celebrations outside its headquarters, with trends favouring BJP at the Centre and the party making deep inroads in West Bengal.