New Delhi: As the final phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 ended on Sunday, the exit polls predicted big gains for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal, the state dominated by Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) since 2011.
The India Today-Axis Poll predicted that the TMC will get 19 to 22 seats while the BJP will get 19 to 23 seats. On the other hand, News18’s IPSOS exit poll has predicted Trinamool to increase its seats from 34 to 36-38 and BJP, from 2 to 3-4 seats.
The C-Voter predicted Trinamool with 24 seats followed by the BJP with 11 seats and Congress with 2 seats, as did Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat. Times-VMR predicted TMC to gain 28 seats, BJP to gain 11 seats and Congress, 2 seats.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee confidently said that the exit polls results are not to be believed.
What appears to be a surprise is that both C-Voter and Jan Ki Baat predicted the Left to gain zero seats. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), once used to be the biggest factor in West Bengal until the TMC turned over votes in its favour.
The West Bengal polls were conducted in seven phases in all 42 constituencies marred by sporadic violence. While in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 2016 Assembly elections, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) retained the state, this year almost all exit polls have predicted that the BJP.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had marked its way in the state in 2014 General Elections when the party initiated a full-fledged campaign gaining 2 seats, where it was previously non-existent. Both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah made several rounds to the state during campaigning.
Two of the most prominent parties in the state, BJP and TMC, had seen a serious tiff in the final two phases. The tiff intensified when during a rally the TMC workers alleged that BJP-ABVP activists vandalised the Vidyasagar statue.
Various exit poll agencies have predicted varied results in the State. However, what remains common is that the BJP has made massive inroads in the state. While the TMC will retain its position in the state in all probability, the BJP has made its presence evident hinting at a possible attempt to gain power in the next elections.