02 May 2021: TMC ahead of BJP in West Bengal; Mamata Banerjee trailing
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has taken a comfortable lead in West Bengal, which witnessed one of the most high-octane campaigns in the last few weeks.
As per the Election Commission's trends for 284 of the total 294 seats, TMC is leading on 202 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 77 seats.
However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trailing.
Elections: A bitter fight will reach its climax today
West Bengal saw the clash of political titans, with BJP sending its biggest names to the state frequently in a bid to wrest power from TMC.
It also tried puncturing TMC's hopes for a third consecutive term by welcoming senior leaders into the party.
On the other hand, Banerjee had turned the contest into an insider v/s outsider battle.
COVID-19: Polls continued despite a steep rise in coronavirus figures
It's also pertinent to highlight that polls happened in West Bengal amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases across the nation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also participated in electioneering and halted them only after receiving flak.
Evidently, coronavirus-linked protocols were shredded to pieces during the campaign and even leaders like Home Minister Amit Shah were spotted without a mask.
Data: Battleground Nandigram brought grim news for Banerjee
While the latest trends indicate that TMC might return to power, Banerjee herself isn't performing well.
At the time of publishing, her former aide Suvendu Adhikari was leading from Nandigram by nearly 3,775 votes.
Nandigram holds special importance for Banerjee as it was the land acquisition row in this rural area that helped her end Left's 34-year-long rule in West Bengal in 2011.
Statement: Meanwhile, Vijayvargiya is confident BJP will form government
On the latest numbers, BJP's General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the initial trends are not "the real indicator of the final outcome."
"We will cross the magic figure by evening. I am sure that we will form the next government in West Bengal," he told TOI.
Notably, exit polls had predicted a close contest between TMC ad BJP.