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With Leads in 15 Seats, Modi Appears to Have Swept the Carpet From Under Mamata Banerjee's Feet

While BJP focused aggressively on Hindtuva on the large population of Hindi-speaking migrants, TMC allegedly stressed on Muslim appeasement in West-Bengal.


Updated:May 23, 2019, 10:58 AM IST
With Leads in 15 Seats, Modi Appears to Have Swept the Carpet From Under Mamata Banerjee's Feet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Mamata Banerjee (R).

West Bengal Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: In West Bengal, with the BJP leading in 15 seats at 10:30 am, the TMC at 24 seats and with the Congress clinging on to 2 seats - a key factor in the Narendra Modi-led BJP's seemingly successful foray into Mamata Banerjee's Bengal bastion is the fact that the Left is yet to open its account.

A look at the seats where the BJP has been consistently leading gives insight into their tactics. In Purulia and adjacent Asansol for instance, both seats alongside Jharkhand and Bihar, the BJP had focused their aggressive Hindtuva on the large population of Hindi-speaking migrants, while stressing on TMC's alleged Muslim appeasement. In seats like Maldah Uttar, the BJP appears to have benefitted from the divide in votes between the Left, the Congress and the TMC. While the break in the Dalit votes in south Bengal has aided it in seats like Bongaon.

The presence of the RSS in south Bengal, which has been active in the area for decades and its growth in the past few years in north Bengal will be a crucual factor for the saffron party's chances in the Lok Sabha results.

During the polls, the entire state found itself divided, over religion, caste and, above all else, politics. While the TMC has formidable organisation on the ground, BJP's gains in the state suggests that it was able to combat this with its social media team.

The state, with its 42 Lok Sabha seats, has the third-largest share in Parliament after Uttar Pradesh (80) and Maharashtra (48). But unlike in the two states, the party’s presence here is scant, limited to two seats (Darjeeling and Asansol) and hence offers an opportunity to offset any potential losses in northern India.

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