India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has countered reports of Mamata Banerjee winning West Bengal's Nandigram hotseat by a margin of nearly 1,200 votes, saying that its candidate, former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Suvendu Adhikari, was victoious instead.
Adhikari, was once a close aide of Banerjee and jumped boats and joined the BJP just a few months ahead of West Bengal assembly elections, reports the Hindustan Times.
Mamata Banerjee's party Trinamool Congress too is headed for a victory in the state leading on more than 200 out of the state's 294 assembly constituencies, according to latest updates on the Election Commission website.
Poll experts had earlier said that if Mamata Banerjee's TMC manages to hold on, it will a remarkable achievement as the party has been weakened by desertions, faced significant anti-incumbency, and appeared to be behind the BJP for much of the campaign.
On 35 Bengal seats, the BJP, Trinamool lead is less than 1,000 votes: EC data
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) raced to the pole position within hours of the start of counting of votes for the West Bengal assembly on Sunday, leading in about 200 of 292 constituencies and retaining the lead through the day.
The rival Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 80 seats and there are still several rounds of counting to go, reports the Hindustan Times.
The BJP appeared to have conceded defeat. "The TMC won because of Mamata Banerjee. It seems people have chosen Didi," Kailash Vijayvargiya, the BJP general secretary incharge of West Bengal, said at around 3 pm, according to news agency PTI.
It was unclear for most of the day if Mamata Banerjee would make it through in Nandigram despite her party's spectacular performance elsewhere in the state. At around 3.30pm, Banerjee was leading over protégé-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari with a slim margin of 3,000 votes after trailing for several hours. There were conflicting reports on the outcome. Later the TMC said the counting process is still on.
But Nandigram isn't the only seat that could flipped. A quick analysis of the Election Commission's data indicates that there are nearly 60 seats where the margin of lead is 2,000 or less.
Suvendu wins in Nandigram, not Mamata: Anandabazar
Though Indian media outlets earlier reported about Mamata Banerjee's victory in the Nandigram seat, but Anandabazar Patrika reported in the evening saying its BJP's Suvendu Adhikari who has won the constituency actually.
Earlier, some Indian newspapers reported that Mamata defeated her former aide Suvendu by a margin of 1,200 seats.
After fixing a server glitch, Election Commission announced that Suvendu won by 1,622 votes. When Anandabazar contacted Suvendu, he also confirmed it.
'Was a very tough fight': BJP credits Suvendu Adhikari
"We came to know that Mamata Banerjee won by around 1200 votes. She won in the last round. We have to give due credit to Suvendu Adhikari. It was a very tough and neck to neck fight", said Jay Prakash Majumdar, BJP state vice president.
Mamata Banerjee wins in Nandigram
Mamata Banerjee defeated Shuvendu Adhikari in Nandigram.
As soon as the results were confirmed, Mamata Banerjee was was walking out of her house in Kalighat and entering the office, reports the Anandabazar.
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in Bengal is leading in 212 seats
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in Bengal is leading in 212 seats, though the BJP seems to have made gains since the 2019 national elections.
Mamata Banerjee looks set to win a third term in Bengal
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has crossed the half-way mark in early leads in Bengal and is leading in 206 seats, though the BJP seems to have made gains since the 2019 national elections.
Trinamool and the BJP ran a bitter, no holds barred campaign that defied Covid safety rules as well as the poll code.
But Mamata Banerjee is trailing the BJP's Suvendhu Adhikari - her former close aide -- in Nandigram, which is the most-watched fight in Bengal.
Mamata back in game in Nandigram after trailing in 3 rounds
Mamata trailed in Nandigram's first 3 rounds, then got back in-game, Hindustan Times reported.
The fight for the Nandigram assembly constituency is so far the most interesting as the TMC supremo is contesting from this seat for the first time and was trailing behind BJP's Suvendu Adhikari, who was once the CM's close aide.
Exit polls have predicted a close contest between the TMC and BJP, who trained guns at each other during massive election rallies that were later criticised for being conducted during the worrisome wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. If Mamata Banerjee's TMC manages to hold on, it will a remarkable achievement as the party has been weakened by desertions, faced significant anti-incumbency, and appeared to be behind the BJP for much of the campaign.
TMC gains lead in 202 seats out of the total 294 in West Bengal
Mamata Banerjee looks set to win a third term in Bengal as the DMK is heading for victory in Tamil Nadu, the BJP is leading in Assam and the LDF in Kerala in the counting of votes for state polls as per the very early leads reported.
The BJP's national general secretary and incharge of the state, Kailash Vijayvarghia told news agency ANI: "It is too early to say anything because there are so many rounds.The situation will be clear only by the evening. We had started from three and were challenged that we won't get even 100; we have crossed that mark. We will cross the magic number too."
According to the election commission's website at 1.10 pm, the TMC was leading in 202 of the 292 seats for which votes were being counted, while the BJP was leading in 77.
The BJP, however, also appeared upbeat about the fact that chief minister Mamata Banerjee was trailing in Nandigram, the battleground where she is taking on her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who switched sides to the BJP just ahead of the polls. As per the EC website, Adhikari was leading by 8,000 votes in Nandigram.
TMC candidate Partha Pratim Ray leads in Bengal's Sitalkuchi seat
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Partha Pratim Ray is leading from Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar as the counting for the West Bengal assembly election is underway on Sunday, early trends showed. The assembly constituency hogged the limelight after four people lost their lives on April 10 during the fourth phase of polling in a shooting incident by the central forces. One more person was killed in another firing incident on the same day in Sitalkuchi.
After the incident, the Election Commission of India banned the entry of political leaders "within the geographical boundaries of the district" for 72 hours. It also ordered adjourning of voting in polling station 126 of Sitalkurchi assembly constituency. A repoll took place on April 29 during the last phase of the West Bengal elections.
Suvendu Adhikari takes the lead in battleground Nandigram
At the end of the third round of counting, Suvendu Adhikari was found leading by a margin of over 7,287 votes from Nandigram.
The counting for the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections is underway on Sunday (May 2), and all eyes are set on the battleground constituency of Nandigram, where chief minister Mamata Banerjee is locked on a direct electoral contest against her former acolyte Suvendu Adhikari.
Once a much-venerated Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, Adhikari switched camps to the BJP last year after having a fall out with party supremo Banerjee. Now leading the opposition's efforts against his ex-colleagues, Suvendu Adhikari has set the stage in his home turf of Nandigram for one of the most-watched electoral battles in the state's history.
TMC leads on 68 seats, BJP on 36
By 10:15 am, TMC leads on 68 seats while BJP is ahead on 36 seats, according to the official trends on the ECI website.
In West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting to wrestle the power out of the hands of three-time chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee. Assam will see a contest between the ruling BJP and a grand alliance of eight opposition parties including Congress, the AIUDF and the Bodoland People's Front.
West Bengal's battle is going to be the most interesting to watch as chief minister Mamata Banerjee aims to grab the post for a third term the BJP, which hasn't announced its CM face, is confident of winning over 200 seats.
Exit polls have predicted a close contest between the TMC and BJP, who trained guns at each other during massive election rallies that were later criticised for being conducted during the worrisome wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
If Mamata Banerjee's TMC manages to hold on, it will a remarkable achievement as the party has been weakened by desertions, faced significant anti-incumbency, and appeared to be behind the BJP for much of the campaign.
Assam assembly election
Counting of votes for Assam's 126 assembly seats, contested by 946 candidates, has begun amid a nationwide crisis triggered by the second wave of Covid-19. Most exit polls have predicted a victory for the ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led alliance, in the state.
BJP fought the elections in alliance with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), while the Congress-led 10-party alliance includes All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Bodoland Peoples' Party (BPF).
Besides the two main fronts, another front comprising two new regional parties, Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal, was also in the fray.
In 2016, there were a total of 29,173 postal votes for the entire state whereas, this time, the figure has increased by 414% to 150,033.
In 2016, BJP won 60 seats to form the party's first government in Assam with the support of AGP (14) and the BPF (12). Congress won only 26 seats and the AIUDF won 13.
According to the India Today exit poll, BJP-led alliance was likely to win 75-85 seats and the front led by the Congress was likely to win 40-50 seats. News24-Chanakya predicted 70 seats to the front led by the BJP and 56 to the Congress-led alliance.
The Republic-CNX poll predicted 74-84 seats for the BJP and 40-50 for the Congress, while the Times Now poll gave 72 seats to the BJP and 53 to the Congress.
The ABP-CVoter poll predicted a close contest with 58-71 seats to the BJP-led alliance and 53-66 to the Congress-led front.
The BJP maintains that it will win at least 85 seats, based on its own survey. The Congress has dismissed the exit polls as "biased" and "manipulated", adding the party will form the next government in the state.
In a statement issued late on Saturday evening, the Congress said it won't send spokespersons to TV studios for debates related to election results due to the current Covid-19 crisis. However, the party said its spokespersons will be available to answer queries over phone.
Days after polling in the assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory (UT) of Puducherry was wrapped up, counting of votes began in these states and UT at 8am on Sunday. The exercise took place amid tight security in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the results are expected to start rolling out after 5pm.
Early trends at 9 am showed the ruling Trinamool Congress was leading in 55 seats while the BJP was ahead in at least 52 of the 294 seats. The coalition of Left parties, Congress and ISF was trailing at a distant third with three seats.
The high-octane election campaign in these states was followed by voting that was spread out over a month.
In Tamil Nadu, the incumbent All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will go up against MK Stalin's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) while the battle for Kerala will prominently feature Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led UDF.
The alliance of All India NR Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is up against the Congress-led alliance in Puducherry.