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Friday, May 07, 2021

West Bengal Election Results 2021 Highlights: TMC headed for 3rd term; Mamata loses Nandigram race to Suvendu

WB Assembly Election Result 2021 Highlights: Earlier, while asking party workers to not fuel speculations before the counting is completed, Mamata had said she will accept the verdict of the people.

By: Express Web Desk | Kolkata |
Updated: May 3, 2021 9:55:17 am
Mamata BanerjeeMamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Sunday (Express photo by Partha Paul)

West Bengal (WB) Election Results 2021 Highlights: Even as the Trinamool Congress is headed for a landslide victory in West Bengal winning 198 seats and leading in 15 as of 11.45 pm, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has lost to her former trusted lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari by a slim margin of 1956 votes, data on the Election Commission website said. Earlier, while asking party workers to not fuel speculations before the counting is completed, Mamata had said she will accept the verdict of the people. Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress has demanded recounting in Nandigram constituency alleging a number of illegalities in the vote counting process, although the Returning Officer has rejected the demand.

Earlier, speaking to the press in Kolkata, she said, “This is a victory for the people of Bengal. I am proud to say that Bengal saved the country. The Election Commission behaved badly with us — they behaved like BJP’s spokesperson. BJP played dirty politics and lost the election.”

She added, “Covid is my first priority. We will work on this immediately. We will not do a big oath-taking ceremony. We will weather this storm. We will distribute free vaccines to everyone. Also request the Centre to distribute free vaccines to all. If this does not happen, I will sit on a dharna in front of the Gandhi Murti in Kolkata. We appeal to everyone not to do a victory rally now. We will do a big victory rally at the Brigade Parade Ground later after the situation is normal.”

PM Narendra Modi has congratulated Mamata Banerjee for TMC’s performance in the Assembly polls and said BJP will keep serving the people of Bengal. “Congratulations to Mamata Didi for @AITCofficial’s win in West Bengal. The Centre will continue to extend all possible support to the West Bengal Government to fulfil people’s aspirations and also to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” he tweeted.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are also among those who have congratulated Mamata Banerjee for TMC’s good performance in the election.

Live Blog

WB Assembly Election Result 2021 Highlights: TMC sweeps Bengal, all set to win over 200 seats; PM Modi congratulates Mamata; Suvendu edges past Mamata in Nandigram; Disappointment for Left-Congress-ISF alliance

09:55 (IST)03 May 2021
2 years, and a 10% vote gap in West Bengal: How BJP didn’t see winds of change since 2019

Despite the BJP pulling out all the big guns and resources to contest the Assembly polls in West Bengal, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah extensively campaigning, the party struggled to cross double digits.

In fact, as per election results and leads till 6 pm, the BJP’s vote share stood at 37.70%, a decline of nearly 3% from its 40.30% votes in 2019. On the other hand, the TMC had increased its vote share to 48.20% from 43.30% in 2019. In other words, a 10% vote gap stood between the two parties.

In fact, as per the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP led in 121 Assembly seats in the state, a far cry from its 76 till last count. (Read Ravik Bhattacharya and Santanu Chowdhury’s analysis)

09:35 (IST)03 May 2021
Mamata not the first CM to lose, has to win bypoll in 6 months

In what will be seen as the biggest anti-climax in this round of Assembly polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lost in Nandigram to her former protégé-turned-BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari while her party won a landslide victory in the state.

Banerjee can still take over as chief minister but will have to get elected in the next six months to continue in the post.

Article 164(4) of the Constitution states: “A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.” (Read Manoj C G's report)

09:34 (IST)03 May 2021
SOS is refrain within as Congress continues downward march

Yet another counting day and yet another demoralising defeat for the Congress. Since 2014, of the 40 Assembly elections held, the party, on its own, could win and form governments in only four states and a Union Territory.

After today’s defeats in Kerala, Assam, Puducherry and the wipeout in West Bengal, Congress leaders across states are admitting, in hushed tones, that the bigger worry is that the party is losing its legitimacy — moral and political — to lead the Opposition at the national level as it is fast ceding space to regional forces in the fight against the BJP.

The defeat, many party leaders said, is set to deepen internal turmoil and give another window for the detractors of senior leader Rahul Gandhi, who had virtually led the party’s campaign in Kerala, from where he is an MP. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had campaigned in Kerala and Assam. (Read Manoj C G's report)

08:45 (IST)03 May 2021
West Bengal elections: How Didi won personality battle

For the BJP, May 2 was to be a crowning moment, when they would win West Bengal. An election campaign that lasted for over a month saw the presence of a battery of central ministers, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But on Sunday afternoon, without a wheelchair for the first time in a few weeks, it was Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who spoke to the people of the state as the victor. Read more here to know the factors that led to the result

00:12 (IST)03 May 2021
Bengal Inc congratulates Mamata on TMC's landslide win

Industrialists congratulated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday for her party's landslide victory in the West Bengal elections. The industry bodies said they would continue to support Banerjee in running the state.
    
'This was an unprecedented electoral franchise in the midst of the brutal and tragic second wave of the pandemic. The chamber  stands by the new government as a partner in such challenging times knowing that, as always, the people and economy of Bengal will resolutely surge forward,' Bengal Chamber of Commerce president Deb A Mukherjee said.
    
CII congratulated Banerjee, saying that it would work to make the state one of the premier destinations for industry, investment and livelihood. (PTI)

23:57 (IST)02 May 2021
TMC nears 200-mark; BJP far behind

As per the latest update on the Election Commission website, the Trinamool Congress is set to cross the 200-mark, having won 198 assembly seats and leading in 15 as of 11.45 pm. The BJP, which in the early trends gave a tough fight to the ruling TMC, has won 69 seats and is leading in eight. 

22:46 (IST)02 May 2021
Compared to 2019 LS elections, TMC's vote share jumped by 5% in assembly polls

According to the Election Commission, BJP's vote share in West Bengal assembly polls has dipped by less than 2 per cent compared to the 2019 general elections while that of TMC has jumped by nearly 5 per cent.

22:11 (IST)02 May 2021
Returning officer rejects TMC’s request for recount of votes in Nandigram

In the latest development, EC’s Returning Officer (RO) has rejected TMC’s request for a recount of all votes cast in the Nandigram seat. The final result will be notified soon. 

21:53 (IST)02 May 2021
Sonia Gandhi calls Mamata Banerjee, congratulates her for TMC's victory

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi calls Mamata Banerjee and congratulates her for TMC's victory in the Assembly polls. (ANI)

21:36 (IST)02 May 2021
TMC writes to Chief Electoral Officer seeking immediate recounting of votes in Nandigram

Trinamool Congress writes to the Chief Electoral Officer seeking "immediate re-counting of votes in Nandigram AC 210 and postal ballots”.

21:17 (IST)02 May 2021
People didn't accept those who switched from the TMC: Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh

BJP's West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday said it seems that people didn't accept those who switched to the BJP from the TMC as many such candidates lost the election.

“We never expected such a result. The feedback and the response which we were getting from people were telling something different. But we accept this result and now will play the role of a constructive opposition,” Ghosh told PTI.

He noted that the BJP has improved its position in terms of seats though its target was to form the government.

On the question of many TMC turncoats losing elections, Ghosh said, “It seems people didn't accept those who switched to the BJP from the TMC.”

Talking about the reasons for the defeat, Ghosh said the BJP lost many seats with very small margins and will delve deeply to figure out the reasons. He said it is not easy to change the perception of the people. (PTI)

21:15 (IST)02 May 2021
Bengal Governor appreciates Mamata's stance to observe COVID-19 guidelines

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Sunday appreciated Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s "stance" to observe COVID-19 guidelines and peace and called upon the state apparatus to take all steps to ensure peace and order.

In a tweet message, Dhankhar said democracy is all about respecting the mandate of the people. "Violence has no place in democracy. Appreciate stance @MamataOfficial to observe Covid guidelines and peace," he said.

"Call upon state apparatus @HomeBengal @WBPolice @KolkataPolice to take all steps to ensure peace and order," the governor tweeted. (PTI)

21:02 (IST)02 May 2021
TMC delegation meets Chief Electoral Officer, seeks recount of votes in Nandigram

Three-member Trinamool Congress delegation is meeting Chief Electoral Officer at EC Office in Kolkata seeking a recount of votes in Nandigram and other issues. (ANI)

20:38 (IST)02 May 2021
Suvendu edges past Mamata in Nandigram battle, VVPAT verification underway

As per the Election Commission count, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has defeated Mamata Banerjee by 1,736 votes in Nandigram. However, mandatory VVPAT verification is currently underway and results will be officially announced only after that.

20:31 (IST)02 May 2021
Want to thank people of Nandigram for their love and support: Suvendu Adhikari

BJP’s Nandigram candidate Suvendu Adhikari told ANI, “My sincere thanks to great people of Nandigram for their love, trust, blessings, support and for choosing me as their representative and MLA from Nandigram. It's my never-ending commitment to be of service to them and working for their welfare. I'm truly grateful.”

The Election Commission is yet to declare the official result for the Nandigram seat. (ANI)

19:39 (IST)02 May 2021
PM Narendra Modi congratulates Mamata for TMC's victory

PM Narendra Modi has congratulated Mamata on TMC’s victory and said BJP will keep serving the people of Bengal. “Congratulations to Mamata Didi for @AITCofficial's win in West Bengal. The Centre will continue to extend all possible support to the West Bengal Government to fulfil people’s aspirations and also to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” PM Modi tweeted.

He added, “I would like to thank my sisters and brothers of West Bengal who have blessed our party. From a negligible presence earlier, BJP’s presence has significantly increased. BJP will keep serving the people. I applaud each and every Karyakarta for their spirited effort in the polls.”

19:24 (IST)02 May 2021
Accept people's verdict on Nandigram, will review result and go to court if required: Mamata Banerjee

Speaking about Nandigram where she contested against her protege-turned-BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata Banerjee told the press earlier, “Don't worry about Nandigram. For struggle, you have to sacrifice something. I struggled for Nandigram because I fought a movement. It’s okay. Let the people give whatever verdict they want, I accept that. I don't mind. We will review the results and go to court if required. I have information that after the declaration of results, there were some manipulations done and I will reveal those."

The official figures for Nandigram are yet to come in, with the last update on the Election Commission website showing that Adhikari is leading by over 10,000 votes.

19:18 (IST)02 May 2021
Mamata visits Kalighat temple to offer prayers

CM Mamata Banerjee visits Kalighat temple to offer her prayers.

18:36 (IST)02 May 2021
Won't congratulate Mamata, people of Bengal made historic mistake: Babul Supriyo

Reacting to the verdict, BJP leader Babul Supriyo posted on Facebook, "Neither will I congratulate Mamata Banerjee for her win in Bengal nor do I wish to say that I 'respect' the people's verdict, because I sincerely think that people of Bengal made a Historic mistake by not giving Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a chance & by electing this Corrupt, Incapable, Dishonest Government & a Cruel Lady back to power !! Yes, as a Law-Abiding citizen, I shall 'obey' the decision taken by the people in a democratic country.. That's it !! Nothing more - Nothing less !!"

18:19 (IST)02 May 2021
Proud to say Bengal has saved the country today: Mamata Banerjee

Speaking to the press, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “This is a victory for the people of Bengal. I am proud to say that Bengal saved the country. The Election Commission behaved badly with us — they behaved like BJP’s spokesperson. Two slogans — ‘Khela hobe’ and ‘Joy Bangla’ — worked well for us. Bengal won the match. We will distribute 50,000 footballs among clubs in rural Bengal.”

She added, “Covid is my first priority. We will work on this immediately. We will not do a big oath-taking ceremony. We will weather this storm. We will distribute free vaccines to everyone. We request the Centre to distribute free vaccines to all. If this does not happen, I will sit on a dharna in front of the Gandhi Murti in Kolkata.”

She further said, “We appeal to everyone not to do a victory rally now. But this will be after Covid is defeated. We will do a big victory rally at the Brigade Parade Ground later after the situation is normal.”

Catholic nuns from the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata stand in a queue to vote. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

What Exit Polls show

One point that all these exit polls agree upon is the fact that BJP can win well over 100 seats, which will be a massive jump from the three seats it bagged in the Assembly polls in 2016. Consequently, the saffron party’s vote share may also increase from 10% last time to around 43% as predicted by the India Today-MyAxis poll or just over 39% as predicted by ABP-CVoter. If the BJP vote share were to see that meteoric jump, it would mean that the saffron party has to win in most  Assembly seats under those Lok Sabha constituencies where it had won in 2019. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when it won 18 seats, the BJP led in 33 of the total 68 SC-reserved Assembly segments in the state. Out of these 33 seats, 26 are Matua-dominated. The Lok Sabha results show there has been a swing in the SC vote towards BJP.

Healthcare workers carry out rapid antigen tests of journalists who will be present at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on May 2 during the counting of votes, (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

Bengal imposes new curbs to tackle Covid surge

A day after announcing a partial lockdown in the state, the West Bengal government on Saturday issued more restrictions to curb the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

In a new order, the state government said on Saturday that not more than 50 people will be allowed to be present at marriage ceremonies and other congregations.

“Marriage gatherings and other familial gatherings will also be seriously restricted and subjected to strict observance of Covid appropriate norms (e.g. strict use of masks, sanitizers, physical distancing, etc). Generally speaking, the number of invitees to marriages and other familial gatherings should be restricted to the minimum possible number, and at no point of time should there be congregations of more than 50 persons in any ceremony,” the order stated.

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