West Bengal Elections: In early counting, Mamata Banerjee trailing BJP's Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram

As the counting of votes for the eight-phased West Bengal assembly elections is underway, early trends showed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trailing from Nandigram seat while her opponent, BJP's Suvendu Adhikari is leading from the seat.

According to PTI, Mamata Banerjee is nearly 3,460 votes behind Suvendu Adhikari, whose switch to the BJP led to a flood of defections from the Trinamool Congress.

According to early trends available from 164 of the 292 assembly seats that went to polls, the TMC is ahead in 104, BJP 58 and Independents 2.

Of the state's 294 assembly constituencies, the most keenly watched will be Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district where Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is contesting her protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP.

Banerjee, who is seeking a third term in office, has left Bhabanipur constituency in Kolkata to fight from Nandigram, the epicentre of an anti-land acquisition movement that catapulted her party to power in 2011 ending the 34- year-long Left Front rule.

Exit polls have forecast a tight contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the eight-phase elections to the 294-member assembly.

The counting will decide the electoral fate of 2,116 candidates including nominees of the Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front alliance.

The exercise is underway in 108 counting centres spread across the 23 districts of the state, where a three- tier security arrangement has been put in place.

At least 292 observers have been appointed and 256 companies of central forces deployed at the counting centres. Polling to 292 assembly seats was held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. Voting in Shamsherganj and Jangipur seats in Murshidabad district was postponed due to the death of some candidates. Polling in these two seats will now be held on May 16 and votes counted on May 19.

(With inputs from PTI)

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