After a keenly contested eight-phased Assembly election 2021 in West Bengal and three-phased polls in Assam, the counting of votes is currently underway in the two states under the watchful eyes of the Election Commission since 8 AM on Sunday (2 May 2021). As per the initial trends, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party AITC has taken an early lead and the ruling party is ahead of the BJP in Bengal. But the AITC chief appears to be losing the prestigious Nandigram seat battle to her BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari who is leading with over 8000 votes as of now.
Meanwhile, the BJP has maintained a comfortable lead over Indian National Congress (INC) in Assam as of now. The saffron party is leading on 40 seats, while INC on 22 seats in Assam, while others in 4.
Modi magic Vs Mamata Banerjee in Bengal
While Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (AITC) is seeking to seize power for the third consecutive term, the BJP is making claims of winning 200 seats in the 294-member West Bengal Assembly.
The power-packed campaigns by the main contenders – the Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), involved rallies with large participations and mega roadshows. The third front i.e. the coalition of the INC, Left Front and Indian Secular Force seemed to be on the back foot when it came to campaigning.
The ambitious BJP did intense campaigning with the goal to topple the incumbent AITC government in the state. To continue its stride in Bengal especially after an overwhelming result in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the state, the party brought Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party president JP Nadda and many others for campaigning.
Mamata chose Nandigram over her home turf Bhabanipur seat this time to test her fate in the 2021 elections. Now not just Bengal, but the country`s eyes were on Nandigram that witnessed the most high-profile contest on 1 April with the chief minister taking on her former ministerial colleague Suvendu Adhikari, who had joined the BJP in December last year.
Several exit poll surveys gave an edge to the ruling AITC. In West Bengal, all exit polls predicted that the BJP would make major inroads and a few said that the party would emerge victoriously.
In Assam, the ruling BJP is facing a challenge from ‘Mahajoth’ or ‘Grand Alliance’ comprising the INC, AIUDF, Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) Liberation, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM). The BJP has an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP).
The saffron party had scripted history by winning the traditionally INC-dominated state in 2016, after remaining on the fringes. In the northeastern state of Assam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks ahead in the exit polls and the lotus is likely to bloom for the second consecutive time. All major pollsters have predicted a majority for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 126-member Assembly.