Kolkata। West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress led in 24 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state while the BJP made stunning inroads, with an unprecedented saffron surge in 17 constituencies after three hours of counting.
The Congress led in one constituency while the Left, which had ruled the state for decades, faced a washout.
Union Ministers Babul Supriyo and S.S. Alhuwalia are ahead in Asansol and Burdwan-Durgapur by establishing a substantial margin of votes.
According to the Election Commission, Supriyo is leading over his nearest rival Moon Moon Sen of Trinamool Congress by more than 50,000 votes.
Alhuwalia, the outgoing MP of Bengal’s Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, is ahead of Trinamool’s sitting MP Mamtaz Sanghamita in Burwan-Durgapur.
In Malda, a traditional Congress bastion, the BJP is on top in both the parliamentary seats.
In Malda South, BJP’s Sreerupa Mitra Chaudury is ahead of veteran Congress leader Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury while in Malda North saffron party candidate Khagen Murmu, who recently defected from the CPI-M, led over Trinamool’s Mausam Noor.
Indeed, the BJP came out with a stunning performance in constituencies with substantial minority votes and border areas in a sign that it has benefitted from religious polarization.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee is leading over his nearest rival Nilanjan Roy of BJP by over 46,000 votes.
In the Bongaon Lok Sabha seat, which is dominated by the Dalit Matua community, BJP candidate and late Matua matriarch Binapani Thakur’s grandson Shantanu Thakur had forged ahead over his aunt and Trinamool Congress’ sitting MP Mamata Bala Thakur.
Two popular Bengali actresses-cum-Trinamool Congress candidates Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan are leading in Jadavpur and Baisrhat respectively while another celebrity candidate, Deepak Adhikari of Trinamool, was ahead in West Midnapore’s Ghatal seat.
In the prestigious South Kolkata constituency, Trinamool Congress’ Mala Roy led over her nearest rival BJP candidate and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand nephew Chandra Kumar Bose by over two lakh votes.
Several Trinamool stalwarts like state Minister Subrata Mukherjee (Bankura) and sitting MP Kalyan Banerjee (Sreerampore), actress-turned-politician Moon Moon Sen and Mausam Noor, who defected from the Congress, were trailing.