With votes being tallied for the West Bengal Assembly Elections on Sunday, the Trinamool Congress emerged the clear winner, with over than 200 seats in their arsenal. While the Election Commission website is yet to reflect the final tally, there are some clear trends that have emerged.
In the months leading up to the elections, many politicians had switched sides, primarily from the BJP to the TMC. But while they were rewarded by their new party with election tickets, these did not pan out in most cases. As the votes were tallied, most of the candidates that defected from the ruling TMC, were either trailing or had already tasted defeat. To matters worse, many of these individuals had been seeking reelection.
Among prominent TMC turncoats who lost the battle were former state minister Rajib Banerjee, ex-MLA from Singur Rabindranath Bhattacharya, actor Rudranil Ghosh and former Howrah Mayor Rathin Chakrabarty. Two other top defectors to the saffron camp, former TMC legislator from Bally Baishali Dalmiya and ex-Asansol Mayor Jitendra Tewari did not fare well against their TMC rivals.Prabir Kumar Ghosal, an ex-TMC MLA, who was seeking re-election from Uttarpara on a BJP ticket this time, also lost to Kanchan Mallick of the ruling party by over 35,000 votes. Another former TMC MLA Silbhadra Datta, who fought the elections as a saffron party aspirant, also tasted defeat from Khardah.
That is not to say that there were not exceptions. Suvendu Adhikari is perhaps the best example, having emerged as a proverbial giant slayer. While initial reports had claimed a victory for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission later confirmed the BJP's victory by a narrow margin. The TMC has sought a recount.
Another example is BJP vice president Mukul Roy who had switched side from Bengal's ruling party in 2017. He emerged victorious from Krishnanagar Uttar, defeating actress-turned- TMC nominee Koushani Mukherjee by a margin of 35,000 votes. Mihir Goswami, who had joined BJP a few months back, won the Natabari seat by defeating Rabindranath Ghosh of TMC. PTI BDC JRC
Another point to be noted is the fact that three of the five BJP MPs in the fray failed to bag a seat in the Assembly. Star BJP candidates and MPs Swapan Dasgupta, Locket Chatterjee and Babul Supriyo have all lost in the elections, while MP Nisith Pramanik has won by a slender margin of 57 votes. Another Lok Sabha member of the BJP, Jagannath Sarkar, also won the elections.
(With inputs from agencies)