Exit poll results that were released on Sunday evening showed the Bharatiya Janata Party making significant gains in West Bengal, a state where Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and top leaders of the BJP were involved in a bitter verbal fight. As per various polls, the BJP is expected to make significant inroads into Mamata Banerjee’s bastion of West Bengal. The state has 42 parliamentary constituencies and currently, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) is the fourth largest party in Lok Sabha with 36 seats.
As per the poll of polls survey, the Bhartiya Janata Party may manage to make substantial progress in West Bengal where the pollsters have predicted that the BJP will see a gain of 14 Lok Sabha seats. It won 2 seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
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As per ABP News prediction, BJP will get 16 seats and TMC will get 24 while Congress will settle for 2 seats. Similarly, Nielson’s predicted that NDA will get 16 seats in West Bengal with Mamata Banerjee’s party sharing 24 seats with Left and other smaller parties.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, however, rubbished the claims made by pollsters. “I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together,” she tweeted.
I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 19, 2019
Her party colleague and TMC MP Derek O’ Brien also denied the exit poll surveys and tweeted: “Have ‘Delhi media’ who masquerade as ‘national media’ lost their credentials and credibility? So-called Exit Polls will only confuse. We await the verdict of the people. Modi ji had called the number 300+ even before Phase 7. Are these numbers to match that? EVM manipulation?”
In contrast, there are pollsters who predicted that TMC will get 29 seats and BJP 11 seats in the Lok Sabha election results. CNN News18-IPSOS also predicted that TMC will get 36 seats and the BJP could only manage to increase 1-3 seats in the state.
Also read | Lok Sabha election 2019: EVM glitches, sporadic violence mark final phase of polling in Bengal
The poll campaigning that spanned for over two months saw a bitter war of words between PM Narendra Modi and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. While Modi often referred to Banerjee as “speed-breaker Didi”, the latter slammed the former, saying the PM lacked “shame” as she called the vandalism of Bengali social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s bust as “BJP’s pre-planned conspiracy”.
Nearly 61 per cent voters turned out to exercise their franchise on Sunday in the seventh and the final phase of the Lok Sabha election held in 59 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories, according to Election Commission. The state recorded 73.05 per cent voting in the Phase 7 elections.
Most exit polls have predicted a majority for the ruling BJP-led NDA in Lok Sabha elections 2019 with varying numbers.