West Bengal headed for a saffron surge, with the BJP gaining 18 seats and the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) ahead in 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
The Congress gained two Lok Sabha seats, while the Left drew a blank.
In the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, the TMC had 34 seats in West Bengal, whereas the BJP had only two. The Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left Front had four and two seats respectively.
Congratulating the winners, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called for a complete review of the results.
“Congratulations to the winners. But all losers are not losers. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs match,” she tweeted.
BJP’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said the trends show that the days of “TMC’s misrule is numbered in Bengal”.
“The initial trends reflect the anti-TMC mood. Despite so much terror in Bengal, the people have reposed faith in BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The days of TMC’s misrule are numbered in Bengal,” Vijayvargia said.
As per the current EC trends, the TMC has so far secured 44.61 per cent votes, closely followed by the BJP, which has bagged 39.03 per cent votes.
The CPI(M) and the Congress have garnered a meagre 6.66 per cent and 5.44 per cent share of the pie respectively.
The saffron party, it seems, is cutting a swathe in TMC turf of Bengal, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed 17 poll rallies, with focus on the issues of NRC and the Citizenship bill.
The party is seen making substantial gains in areas close to the India-Bangladesh border, which have a substantial minority population.
In Jangalmahal area too, the BJP can be seen marching ahead of its rivals.
With trends favouring BJP at the Centre as well as in Bengal, the saffron party workers and supporters have burst into celebrations outside its state headquarters here and elsewhere in the districts.
The BJP which is alleged by many to be trying to promote Hindu nationalism, has had its eyes on West Bengal for a long time and they have been trying to make inroads in the state bordering Bangladesh. The saffron party was encouraged by its recent successes in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.
And to achieve what they wanted to achieve, the ruling party, prior to and during the beginning of the campaign, gave maximum effort in West Bengal to do well. The frequent visits of Modi and Amit Shah to the state, are proof of their desperation to leave a significant mark on the state. And, the party’s effort seems to have paid off.