Guwahati: Mamata Banerjee is trailing in Nandigram by over 7,000 votes, according to early trends being reported by the NDTV. Banerjee is contesting against the BJP’s Suvendhu Adhikari, her ex-aide, whose December defection triggered a flood of exits from the Trinamool Congress.
However, early trends show the Trinamool Congress leading in a majority of seats, but the saffron party is not too far behind either. Till 10.30 am, the TMC was seen leading in 146 seats whereas the BJP found itself ahead in 124. It has been a rather disappointing performance by the Congress-Left-ISF alliance in Bengal which was leading in just 5 seats.
Counting of votes for the West Bengal Assembly elections began at 8 am on Sunday amid strict health protocols, as it is taking place amid a raging second wave of COVID-19.
People across the country have their eyes fixed on the West Bengal election results as the BJP looks to break into the Opposition’s last bastion in the East.
While Mamata Banerjee’s TMC will be hoping to overcome the anti-incumbency factor and come to power for a third consecutive term, the BJP will be trying to build on the big gains it made during the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 in the state. Exit polls have been divided over the final outcome, with some giving only a thin edge to TMC. However, they all agree on one thing — the contest in Bengal will be close and a victory for either TMC or BJP can be a matter of thin margins.
The battle between Adhikari and incumbent CM Mamata Banerjee in the Nandigram seat will be one of the contests to watch out for. A decade ago, the protest against land acquisition in Nandigram was one of the key issues that had catapulted Banerjee to power in the state.
After a poll campaign during which barbs were exchanged, lives were lost and Covid cases escalated in the state, today is going to be a long day for West Bengal.