The BJP is predicted to make major gains in the electoral contest in West Bengal, which has been a Trinamool Congress stronghold since 2011.
West Bengal has a total of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies, and the state voted across all the seven phases of national polls. Today (May 19) was the last phase in nine seats. All the earlier phases have witnessed major violence with TMC and BJP trading blame over the issue. Large-scale violence was reported on 19 May (Sunday) as well from different parliamentary constituencies of the state with Trinamool and BJP blaming each other for the violence. The last phase of elections was marked by clashes during BJP president Amit Shah’s rally on May 15 when the bust of Bengal renaissance icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was desecrated.
Exit poll predictions
The Times Now\CMR exit poll has given BJP 11 seats while TMC is expected to get 28, Congress 2 and Left Front 1.
India News-Pollstrat: TMC 26; BJP 14; Congress 2; Left 0
Republic Jan ki Baat: TMC 13-21; BJP 18-26; Congress 3; Left 0
Republic C-voter: TMC 29; BJP 11; Congress 2; Left 0
Poll of polls
According to NDTV’s poll of polls, TMC is likely to get 24 and BJP 14.
Number of seats in 2014
In 2014, the TMC had registered a victory on 34 seats, the Congress won 4, while the CPI(M) 2 and the BJP won 2 seats.
What seems to have worked
What seems to have worked for the BJP is an anti-incumbency wave hitting the TMC by virtue of the party being in power as well as the large-scale violence between TMC and BJP workers. The BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has managed to become the main challenger to Trinamool Congress in 2019. The party won two seats in West Bengal in the 2014 general elections, its highest Lok Sabha victory in the state to date. This time, the BJP is targetting 23 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
However, readers will have to wait till May 23 to know the final results. All of these analyses are only predictions and estimate how the country’s electorate has voted.
The Election Commission in March issued an advisory to the media saying exit polls can only be telecast after the final phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections ends on May 19. The advisory was also applicable for Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim.