Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File Photo)
As predidcted by the News Nation Exit Poll, Lok Sabha elections 2019 is likely to witness a major Saffron surge in West Bengal as the initial trends shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ahead in 19 parliamentary constituencies and is all set to stop Trinamool Congress' victory march in its bastion. Going by the 10 am trend, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress is ahead in 21 parliamentary seats while the Congress' performance stuck to only two seats in West Bengal. The Communist Party of India (M), which ruled the state for 34 long years, is yet to open its account.
Union minister Babul Supriyo of the BJP is leading by 3448 votes against Moon Moon Sen of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) from Asansol Lok Sabha seat, as per initial Election Commission trends. In Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat, which has been the stronghold of the All India Forward Bloc's (AIFB), Nishith Pramanik of the BJP is leading by 1225 votes against AITC candidate Paresh Chandra Adhikary.
BJP candidate and actor-turned-politician Locket Chatterjee is leading by 2175 votes over AITC candidate Ratna De Nag in Hoogly parliamentary constituency, the trends suggest. In Uluberia seat, Sajda Ahmed of the AITC is leading by 920 votes against Joy Banerjee of the BJP.
Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of AITC supremo Mamata Banerjee, is leading by 17,717 votes in Diamond Harbour constituency. He is a sitting MP from the seat. In Kolkata North constituency, two-time AITC MP from the seat Sudip Bandopadhyay is leading by 8,010 votes against Rahul Sinha of the BJP.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit is trailing by 14,333 votes against Khalilur Rahman of the AITC in Jangipur constituency. Abhijit Mukherjee had won the seat by a narrow margin of 8,161 votes in the 2014 general elections.
In the prestigious Kolkata South constituency, Mala Roy of AITC is leading by 44627 votes against BJP’s Chandra Bose, the grand-nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. In Baharampur, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the INC is leading by 7,402 votes against Apurba Sarkar of the AITC. West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee is trailing by 8,360 votes to Subhas Sarkar of BJP.
At Maldaha South constituency, Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury of the INC is leading by 2,588 votes against Mohammed Moazzem Hossain of the AITC. Mahua Moitra of the AITC is leading by 22,193 votes against Kalyan Chaubey of the BJP in Krishnagar constituency.
Counting of votes for 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal began at 8 am on Thursday. Elections in the state were held in seven-phases beginning April 11, with 466 candidates, including 54 women, in the fray.
Besides imposing prohibitory order under section 144 within 100-metre radius of the counting venues, there will be a three-tier security cordon. Only authorised persons will be allowed to enter the counting venues. For each of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies, there will be a counting observer to monitor the entire process.
Other than the returning officer, assistant returning officers and observers, no other people will be allowed to use mobile phones inside the counting venues. A videographer will document the counting process in each counting centre. All the counting centres have been kept under strict vigilance of CCTVs. The Election Commission (EC) will declare trends at the end of each round of counting.