West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the ruling Trinamool Congress is set to take over the reigns of the government for third consecutive term, with a lead in more than 200 seats. Data from the Election Commission at around 4:30 pm indicates that the BJP is a distant second with a lead in around 80 seats.
While initial reports had indicated that Mamata had won a high octane battle against former TMC top lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram, this has since been countered by the Election Commission. As per the latest updates, the seat has been won by the BJP, prompting the TMC to seek a recount.
While the votes continue to be tallied, celebrations have broken out in various parts of the state. And while some flout the state's COVID-19 induced lockdown, others have taken to social media with congratulatory messages.
Political leaders across party lines have, over the last few hours, congratulated Banerjee and her team. "Congratulations @MamataOfficial didi on TMC being elected again in the Assembly election. Good wishes for your next tenure," tweeted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"Congratulations to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee Didi on her party’s victory in West Bengal assembly elections. My best wishes to her for her next tenure," tweeted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
"Congratulations @MamataOfficial didi for landslide victory. What a fight! Congratulations to the people of WB," tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
"Congratulations to Mamata Banerjee on her spectacular victory over the forces of communalism and intolerance. The voters of Bengal (and especially Nandigram) have demonstrated where their hearts lie. The BJP has met its match in Bengal, and lost," tweeted Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
"Congratulations Mamata Banerjee on your stupendous victory! Let us continue our work towards the welfare of people and tackling the Pandemic collectively," tweeted NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
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