Express News Service
KOLKATA: Hours before the verdict of West Bengal’s electorates in the high-octane Assembly elections, two major stakeholders, the ruling Trinamool Congress and its arch rival BJP, preferred to be in silent mode and seemed to be busy reading the body language of each other.
As the state witnessed a month-long fierce electoral battle, both the TMC and the saffron camp claimed on Saturday that they would secure majority in two third of the West Bengal’s 294 Assembly constituencies.
The counting will begin at 8 am but the trends are likely to emerge late comparing to previous occasions because of COVID-19 pandemic. The number of polling booths were increased to more than 1 lakh from 78,000 in the wake of the pandemic which is likely to cause delay in announcing the final results.
BJP’s spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya claimed on Saturday that the party would secure victory in more than 200 seats, the target set by the party’s national leadership much ahead of the elections. TMC MP and spokesperson Saugata Roy, too, claimed the party would bag victory in 200 constituencies.
However, the Left Front-Congress-Indian Secular Force (ISF) alliance claimed their candidates would give surprise to BJP and TMC in many constituencies.
The TMC fielded candidates in 291 constituencies allowing Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to contest in three seats in the Hills. The BJP fielded candidates in 293 constituencies. Under the alliance, Left Front fielded candidates in 165 seats, Congress in 92 and ISF in 37 seats.
In 2016, TMC had a stunning victory, winning 211 seats and bettering its 2011 tally of 184 seats. Congress won 44 seats and the Left Front won 33 seats fighting within an alliance. Exit poll results for West Bengal projected a cliff-hanger. Most exit polls that the CM may make it past the majority mark.
ALL SET FOR VOTE COUNTING
KOLKATA: When counting begins on 8 am in Sunday, there will be 292 observers and 256 companies of central forces deployed at the counting centres across 23 districts, the Election Commission said.