Neck-&-neck battle surfaces in Bengal
Kolkata: The 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal witnessed a neck-and-neck fight between Trinamool Congress and BJP. While TMC won 21 seats, BJP bagged 16 with a single seat for Congress. TMC was leading in one seat, BJP in a couple and Congress in one as per the last poll result update.
TMC's showing was good, particularly in South 24-Parganas, Kolkata, Howrah and Birbhum, where it managed to retain all the seats it had won in 2014. In South 24-Parganas, Pratima Mondal won the Joynagar seat by over 3 lakh votes, while Chowdhury Mohan Jatua won the Mathurapur seat by around 2 lakh votes.
Abhisekh Banejee came out with flying colours in the Diamond Harbour seat by over 3 lakh votes, whereas Mimi Chakraborty won the Jadavpur seat by over 2.9 lakh votes. The prestigious Kolkata North and Kolkata South seats were won by Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Mala Roy respectively, while Howrah and Uluberia were won by Prasun Banerjee and Sajda Ahmed. The party also managed to win both the seats in Birbhum district, with Satabdi Roy bagging Birbhum and Asit Mal winning from Bolpur.
Tamluk, Kanthi and Ghatal went in favour of TMC as well, while BJP's Dilip Ghosh and Kunar Hembram bagged Midnapore and Jhargram, where TMC had a lead of 34,78,883 votes in 2014. The Purulia seat also swung in favour of Jyotirmay Singh Mahato of BJP, where TMC had won by 1,53,877 votes in 2014. The Malda Uttar seat that was won by Mausam Noor of Congress, also swung in favour of the saffron party with Khagen Murmu winning. Noor ended up in the losing side this year, contesting on TMC's ticket. Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury of Congress was leading in the Maldah Dakshin seat as of the last update.
In Murshidabad, TMC's Khalilur Rahman defeated Congress's Abhijit Mukherjee from the Jangipur seat by a margin of over 3 lakh votes. Mukherjee, the son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, had won by a margin of 8,161 votes in 2014. Adhir Chowdhury of Congress, meanwhile, retained the Behrampur seat though his lead dropped to 78,000 from 3,56,567 last year. The Murshidabad seat that was bagged by Left Front in 2014, was grabbed by TMC's Abu Taher Khan.
The Krishnanagar seat was retained by Mahua Maitra of TMC, who won by over 65,000 votes. The Ranaghat seat, the second in Nadia district, went to Jagannath Sarkar of BJP where TMC had a lead of 2,01,767 votes in 2014. In North 24-Parganas, Sougata Roy of TMC managed to retain the Dum Dum seat and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar won the Barasat seat, while newcomer Nusrat Jahan won from Basirhat. The Bongaon seat, where TMC had won by 1,46,601 votes in 2014, swung in favour of Santanu Thakur of BJP. The Barrackpore seat witnessed defeat of TMC's Dinesh Trivedi, where BJP's Arjun Singh won by a narrow margin of around 13,000 votes. Hooghly, meanwhile, had a mixed result for TMC with Kalyan Banerjee retaining the Sreerampore seat and the Hooghly seat swinging in favour of BJP with Locket Chatterjee winning over Ratna Dey Nag of TMC. Aparupa Poddar of TMC has a narrow lead of over 2,000 votes in Arambagh, according to the latest update.
Burdwan East was retained by Sunil Mondal of TMC, while the Burdwan-Durgapur seat was witnessing a lead by the saffron party, as per last reports. The Asansol seat was retained by BJP's Babul Supriyo.
TMC suffered a setback, particularly in North Bengal. John Barla of BJP defeated party candidate Dasrath Tirkey, while Nisith Pramanik shocked TMC's Paresh Chandra Adhikary. Jayanta Kumar Roy of BJP also emerged victorious over Bijoy Chandra Barman of the ruling party from Jalpaiguri, whereas BJP's Sukanta Majumdar snatched the Balurghat seat from TMC's Arpita Ghosh. TMC had won all these seats in 2014.
BJP's Raju Bista managed to retain the Darjeeling seat, while the Raiganj seat that saw a narrow margin win for Left Front's Mohammed Salim in 2014, also went in favour of the saffron party. TMC witnessed collapse in the two seats of Bankura district, with Saumitra Khan winning from the Bishnupur seat. Both the seats had been won by TMC in the last Lok Sabha elections.