Exit polls indicate hat-trick for Mamata

Apart from the Axis My India-India Today and the Republic-CNX exit polls, all other surveys forecast a third victory for the Trinamool, reports Asian Lite News

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is set to retain power in West Bengal, all exit polls, except two, indicated after the month-long, eight-phase Assembly polls ended on Thursday.

Apart from the Axis My India-India Today and the Republic-CNX exit polls, which gave the BJP an edge in the battleground state, all other surveys, including the CVoter Exit Poll for Times Now/ABP News, forecast a third victory for the Trinamool, putting it ahead in the 294-member Assembly.

However, the survey of Axis My India-India Today, whose predictions in the 2019 Assembly elections had shown the immense BJP gains in the state, again gave the party its first-ever victory in the state polls. According to it, the BJP could end with 134-160 seats, the Trinamool with 130-156, and the Left with a mere 0-2. On the other hand, the P-MARQ survey gave the Trinamool 152-172 seats, the BJP 112-132, and the Left 10-20. The NewsX-Polstrat gave the Trinamool 152-162 and the BJP 111-125 seats.

The ETG Research poll gave Banerjee’s party 164-176, the BJP 105-115 and the Left 10-15 seats. CVoter gave Trinamool 152-164, the BJP 109-121 and the Left 14-25.

The Republic-CNX poll, however, showed a BJP victory, giving it 138-148 seats, with 128-132 for the Trinamool and 11-21 for the Left.

 Polling concludes

Despite some sporadic incidents, the eighth and final phase of Assembly elections in West Bengal concluded peacefully on Thursday with a voter turnout of 76.07 per cent.

In the final phase, voting took place in 11,860 polling stations spread across 35 Assembly constituencies in four districts — Malda, Murshidabad, North Kolkata and Birbhum.

According to the data released by the Election Commission, Birbhum district recorded the maximum voter turnout of 81.87 per cent till 5 pm, followed by Malda (80.06 per cent), Murshidabad (78.07 per cent) and North Kolkata (57.43 per cent).

As far as individual constituencies are concerned, Hariharpara in Murshidabad district recorded the highest turnout of 84.19 per cent, while Jorashanko in North Kolkata recorded the lowest turnout of 48.45 per cent.

North Kolkata, where 7 Assembly constituencies went to the polls, recorded an overall polling percentage of 57.43 per cent. Among the individual constituencies in the city, Jorasanko witnessed the lowest polling of 48.45 per cent, while Chowrangee recorded a turnout of 51.98 per cent.

Entally recorded the highest polling in the city at 65.79 per cent, while both Beliagahta and Maniktala recorded a turnout of 60 per cent.

The sporadic incidents that took place during polling on Thursday started with the explosion of two crude bombs near the Mahajati Sadan under the Jorasanko Assembly constituency in the early morning before the beginning of polls.

The police have collected CCTV footage from the spot, but no arrests have been made as yet. No one was injured in the incident.

The second incident was reported from 239 Rabindra Sarani under the Posta police station at 9 am when two crude bombs exploded there. The police have arrested six persons in connection with the case. However, the EC later said that they were only heavy crackers.

Clashes and fisticuffs broke out on more than one occasion between rival political groups.

In Kolkata’s Beliaghata area, clashes broke out between two groups of people on more than one occasion following which the police resorted to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

Bengal heads for penultimate phase of polling

In Maniktala constituency, BJP candidate Kalyan Choubey was allegedly gheraoed by a group of people during his visit to the polling booths.

ADG (Law & Order), Jagmohan, said that the police made 835 preventive arrests on Thursday which included 316 from the Kolkata Police area. Four persons were arrested on charges of violating Section 144, while 20 were held under specific cases.

“We have recovered 78 crude bombs, seized 5 illegal weapons and 21 round ammunition,” Jagmohan said.

The EC received 1179 complaints through various platforms on Thursday. There was also drone surveillance at some polling booths in Kolkata for monitoring the elections.

Meanwhile, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and his wife Sudesh Dhankhar casted their votes at a polling booth in Chowringhee Assembly constituency.

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