Trinamool Congress today secured over two-thirds majority capturing 211 seats in 294-member West Bengal assembly.
Contesting on its own, Trinamool Congress on Thursday put up a stunning victory in West Bengal winning 211 of the 294 seats, bettering its 2011 tally of 184 seats. An analysis of the results indicated that the party’s vote percentage also increased compared to 2011 Assembly poll and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Out of the 294 seats, Congress-Left combine got 76 seats. TMC had secured 184 seats in 2011 Assembly election when it had fought in alliance with Congress. The Congress-Left combine did not make much headway despite prediction by political pundits. Congress, however, did better than its Left partners securing 44 seats. Left partners CPI-M bagged 26 seats, RSP-3, CPI-1 and Forward Bloc-2.
“It is an unprecedented victory despite a joint opposition unleashing violence. I thank the people of Bengal from bottom of my heart for keeping faith in Trinamool Congress. The opposition had spun a web of lies which has been rejected,” Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee said.
Banerjee said she will take oath on May 27.
During the last Assembly polls, which led to the fall of the 34-year-old rule of the Left Front government, Trinamool had won 184 seats in alliance with Congress.
Nandigram constituency in East Midnapore district, where a violent anti-land acquisition movement had helped Trinamool come to power for the first time in 2011, was retained by the party.
TMC MP Suvendu Adhikari won by a heavy margin of 81,230 votes against his nearest Left Front rival Abdul Kabir Seikh.
West Bengal Finance and Industry Minister Amit Mitra retained his Khardaha seat by defeating CPI(M)’s Asim Kumar Dasgupta by 21,200 vote.
Former Bengal cricket captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla won the Howrah North seat on a Trinamool ticket by defeating his nearest rival Santosh Kumar Pathak of Congress by 26,959 votes.
12.25 pm: Mamata Banerjee to take oath on May 27.
12.00 pm: As counting of ballots progressed, Trinamool Congress continued to surge ahead of its rivals in the Assembly elections in West Bengal leading in 210 seats, whereas the Congress-Left combine is ahead in 72 seats and BJP in seven seats.
11.58 am: It is an unprecedented victory despite a joint opposition unleashing violence, says Mamata Banerjee on TMC’s election win.
11.19am: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is leading by 1,499 votes in Bhawanipur Assembly constituency over her nearest rival Congress candidate Deepa Dasmunshi.
10.52 am: Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has so far grabbed 46.1 per cent of the vote share. TNC has collected 40.39 lakh votes so far, while the opposition CPI-M has managed 16.57 lakh votes (18.9 per cent) in West Bengal.
9.49 am: Ruling Trinamool Congress surged ahead in 83 constituencies, whereas Congress-Left Front combine was ahead in 26 seats and BJP in two constituencies of West Bengal, according to initial trends available. GJM is leading in Darjeeling and Kalimpong seats. Prominent candidates of TMC who are ahead are Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee from Baruipur Paschim Assembly segment by 4,378 votes, whereas state Finance Minister Amit Mitra is ahead in Khardaha seat by 589 votes.
9.16 am: Ruling Trinamool Congress today surged ahead in eight constituencies, whereas Congress and BJP were ahead in one constituency each after first round of counting, Election Commission officials said.
Counting of votes for the 294 seat West Bengal Assembly began at 8 AM across 90 venues spread across the state.
A team of 20,000 personnel from the state and central government has been deployed to count votes in 394 counting halls which are being guarded by 78 companies of central forces.
Elections in the state were held in six-phases beginning from April 4 with 1961 candidates including 198 women in the fray.
The alliance of Left parties and Congress are throwing a major challenge to the ruling Trinamool Congress government.
Despite being on the backfoot because of the Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting operation, several exit polls have predicted that Mamata Banerjee will return to power.
A tight three-tier security layer has been laid out during the counting process with Sec 144 being imposed on a 100 metre radius of counting venues. The innermost security layer is being manned by central forces and state police personnel is not allowed to enter the counting hall.
Only authorised personnel are allowed to enter the venue while only the observers have been given the liberty to carry mobile phones with them. Each of the 294 constituencies has one counting observer to monitor the entire process. Additionally, a videographer is also documenting the counting in all centres.
As per tradition, counting began with opening of the postal ballots and EVMs were opened immediately thereafter.
The Election Commission will declare trends at the end of each round of counting.
Since there has been lot of gap between polling and counting in the state, poll panel officials have made special arrangements for extra power packs as batteries of many EVMs may have been drained out during this period.
In the event of malfunctioning of EVMs, engineers from the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) will be called in to retrieve the result from auxiliary display unit of the EVM.
If the engineers fail to retrieve then a decision for further action will be taken by the commission.
Tomorrow, all central security forces will leave the state after keeping the EVMs back in the strong rooms.
Top officials of the Election Commission in Delhi will arrive in the evening today for completing formalities related to issuing certificates to the winning candidates.