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Game Over!

TMC heads for landslide victory with leads in 213 seats

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KOLKATA: With Trinamool Congress (TMC) heading for a landslide victory in the high-voltage election, it has been confirmed that Bengal has kept its faith in its own daughter (Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chay) who is the country's only woman Chief Minister and at the same time it has sent an all-India message that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah can be defeated by a tough opposition.

Trinamool was leading in 213 seats while BJP was leading in 77 till the last report was filed. Sanjukta Morcha was leading in one seat.

Bengal has never witnessed such a high strung Assembly election since the first poll was introduced in 1952. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed 15 meetings in one month in favour of BJP candidates while Union Home minister Amit Shah took part in 62 meetings and roadshows. The other Central ministers, including Rajnath Singh, Ravishankar Prasad, Smriti Irani and Dharmendra Pradhan, took part in 117 rallies and roadshows across the state over a span of one-and-a-half-months.

On Sunday, TMC registered win in all the 11 seats in Kolkata. Trinamool's Nayana Banerjee won by 45,000 votes from Chowrangee Assembly seat. Javed Khan won by almost 63,000 votes from Kasba while BJP's Rabindranath Bhattacharjee lost by 26,000 votes from Singur with TMC candidate Becharam Manna registering a convincing victory. From Ballygunge, TMC veteran Subrata Mukherjee won by 75,000 votes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Mamata Banerjee on her party's win. "Congratulations to Mamata Didi for @AITCofficial's win in West Bengal. The Centre will continue to extend all possible support to the West Bengal Government to fulfil people's aspirations and also to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic," he tweeted.

Addressing a press conference, Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee thanked the people and said the result has saved the country. She urged party leaders and workers not to organise victory processions in view of the pandemic. A victory rally would be held at the Brigade Parade Ground whose date would be announced later, she said. Trinamool nominees have bagged all seats in Kolkata. Three members of the Board of Administrators, namely Atin Ghosh, Debashis Kumar and Debabrata Majumdar have won.

The people have rejected the Sanjukta Morcha with the Left Front and Congress failing to get a single seat. Nausad Siddique of the Indian Secular Front is leading in Bhangar. This is for the first time when the Assembly election was held amid a pandemic.

Trinamool Congress over and again requested the Election Commission to club the last two phases of polls into one in view of the sharp rise in Covid cases. The EC, however, turned down the request and went ahead with the schedule. Three candidates — Rezaul Haque, Pradip Nandy and Kajal Sinha died of COVID-19.

Haque and Nandy died before the elections were held in Shamsergunj and Jangipur in Murshidabad, and as a result, the election was countermanded in both these seats. Sinha died after the election had been held in Khardah constituency and is leading. By-election is likely to be held in the seat as Sinha is leading with a comfortable margin.

Political experts suggest that the BJP's poll debacle was the result of the party's failure to field a candidate who would be its face against Mamata Banerjee along with the party's reluctance to improve the organisation. Also, people refused the BJP for the highly communal and hate speeches delivered by the leaders.

Moreover, the poll strategist of BJP failed miserably to judge the potential of Mamata Banerjee. The lies and canard spread by the BJP's IT-cell like Trinamool Congress did not allow Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja in Bengal did not go down well with the people.

Political experts said women who constitute 49 per cent of the total voters in Bengal gave their support to Mamata Banerjee for development projects like Sabuj Sathi, Khadya Sathi, Swasthya Sathi, Kanyasree, Rupasree among others. The issuance of the Swasthya Sathi cards in the name of the woman head of the family was the trump card as women thought this would take them one step ahead towards their empowerment.

The poor and marginalised people had voted for Banerjee as they thought that if BJP had come to power, all the schemes that gave them direct benefit would be stopped. Moreover, people, by and large, could not accept that the leaders from Delhi were coming to Bengal just to counter a woman, who had received an injury and was wheelchair-bound, just to win the elections.

Two slogans, Bengal wants its own daughter and 'Khela Hobe' (game is on) gained huge popularity. As the news of the victory of TMC candidates reached different areas, party supporters chanted these slogans.

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