QKolkata: Exit Polls Show BJP Gains, Mamata Calls It ‘Gossip’

1. Bengal Drives Modi Comeback: Exit Polls

The exit poll verdict is in, predicting the BJP-led NDA as the clear winner with big gains in Bengal and Odisha that will help tide it over losses in Uttar Pradesh.

If there is one region where the BJP is projected not to have made inroads, it is the south, barring Karnataka, though a couple of pollsters have given the party one seat in Kerala.

Only one of the nine exit polls put out by the national news networks have the NDA short of the majority mark of 272. The India Today-Axis poll has given the NDA its highest projected tally — 339 to 365, which is higher than its 2014 score of 336.

The Congress, by all accounts, has failed to capitalise on the gains it made in successive state elections from the winter of 2017, beginning with Gujarat.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: West Bengal Exit Polls: BJP Crosses Double-Digits in 5 Surveys

2. BJP Surge Forecast In Bengal, Mamata Sees Plot

Four exit polls have forecast between 11 and 23 seats for the BJP in Bengal, a spectacular surge if the results on Thursday match the projections.

If the four exit polls — taken immediately after voters leave the polling stations — are bunched together, the best-case scenario for the Trinamool Congress is 29 of the 42 seats and the worst is 19.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee dismissed the projections, saying the exit polls were part of a “larger conspiracy”.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: Exit polls a game plan to manipulate EVMs: Mamata

3. Trinamool Ire At Central Force

The last leg of the Lok Sabha polls in Bengal turned into a “contest” between Trinamool and central forces with face-offs between party leaders and the men in uniform reported from various areas.

By evening, chief minister Mamata Banerjee levelled direct allegations at the forces. “The manner in which the BJP supporters and the central forces tortured, I have never seen anything like this. This is unprecedented… Though it is not a day to campaign, I have to say this,” Mamata said after casting her vote.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: What Impact Would BJP-TMC Clashes Have on West Bengal’s Politics?

4. Bullets Fly In Battleground Bhatpara

Bhatpara, the home turf of Arjun Singh, which had assembly bypolls on Sunday, turned into a virtual battle zone. Bombs were hurled, injuring 14 persons, shops and houses were ransacked and Trinamool candidate Madan Mitra’s car was vandalised.

The police confirmed three injuries, adding that the polling process was unaffected.

“I had a narrow escape while my driver took a sharp turn towards Kantadanga Road to save me from bombing. Singh’s men attempted to kill me but that cannot stop me from protecting my supporters,” Mitra said. The Barrackpore police commissioner rushed to the spot along with a large force, said ADG law & order Siddhinath Gupta. “Three vehicles. including two police cars, were damaged, Gupta added.

(Source: The Times Of India)

Also Read: 4 Bypolls In Bengal On 19 May: Here’s Who Will Be Battling It Out

5. Voting Delayed As EVMs Break Down

Snags in electronic voting machines (EVMs), several of them happening right at the beginning of the poll day, led to voting delays in several booths with a few elderly voters being forced to return home, unable to stand in the heat till replacement arrived an hour or more later.

Though residents had lined up at the booth at Naktala High School even before polling started at 7am, the first vote could be cast only around 8.30 am, when the EVM was replaced.

At South City College off Golpark, voting began half an hour behind schedule at 7.30am, also due to an EVM snag. Similar glitches at the start of voting were reported from Agarpara municipality health centre, Saroj Basu School on Dum Dum Mall Road and Rabindrapalli AP School near Kestopur. At Bamanpara Bazaar in Gobra, an EVM developed a snag after 156 votes had been cast. A similar problem was reported from the Motijheel Girls’ High School booth.

(Source: The Times Of India)

Also Read: 14.17% voting in WB amid EVM failures, sporadic violence

6. Voters Disappointed, But Mimi No-Show Helps Councillors ‘Focus On Their Wards’

Disappointing hundreds of poll workers and selfie-seeking voters of Jadavpur, Kasba and nearby areas, Jadavpur Lok Sabha candidate Mimi Chakraborty did not step out of her flat in a Kasba high rise on Sunday, spending the day “tracking poll updates” over cellphone and TV instead. In the last hour of voting, she camped at a party office on Prince Anwar Shah Road connector.

“Over the last two months, I have visited every ward in my area around five to nine times. So the voters and party workers have all seen me. On poll day, I didn’t want to divert the attention of voters by visiting booths,” Chakraborty said, sitting at the Sapuipara party office around 4 pm.

(Source: The Times Of India)

Also Read: QDebate: Should TMC Give Tickets to Actors Like Mimi & Nusrat?

7. No Ramp At Booth, Poll Panel’s Poster Lady Faces A Tough Time

Cerebral palsy patient and disability rights activist Jeeja Ghosh, the Election Commission’s brand ambassador and poster lady at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, received a rude jolt on Sunday when she could not access her polling booth due to the absence of a ramp or railing to climb the stairs at the voting centre. Ghosh has been the EC’s poster woman at this election, urging voters with disabilities to step out on election day, promising among other things ramps for easy access to booths.

“This is shocking! After having worked closely with the EC and made those coordinating the election process sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities and remove barriers, I find a flight of stairs at St Lawrence High School, a major voting centre in south Kolkata. I will register a protest with the EC but given that this is the final day of election, I am unsure if it will make a difference. I am extremely disappointed,” said Ghosh, visibly crestfallen on encountering the steps after the enthusiasm she had initially displayed in walking the 300-metre distance from her Saptaparni residence to the voting centre in the blazing sun.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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