BJP Ahead Of Trinamool In West Bengal, Predict Exit Polls

The BJP had won 18 of the state's 42 seats in the 2019 general elections.

BJP Ahead Of Trinamool In West Bengal, Predict Exit Polls

Most polls give Congress a maximum of two seats, which is the number it had won in 2019.

The BJP's astounding performance in West Bengal in 2019, when it won 18 of the state's 42 seats, was not an outlier and the party is set to do even better this time, exit polls have predicted.

And, in what will be an even bigger setback for the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state, most exit polls have said that the BJP will now be the single-largest party in Bengal in terms of Lok Sabha seats. The Trinamool had won 22 constituencies last time.

NDTV's Poll of Polls, an aggregate of exit polls, has also predicted 23 seats for the BJP and 18 for the Trinamool Congress.

Health warning: Exit polls often get it wrong.

The poll by Jan Ki Baat has predicted between 21 and 26 seats for the BJP and 16-18 for the Trinamool Congress.

India Today-Axis My India has given between 26 and 31 to the BJP and between 11 and 14 to the Trinamool Congress. The figures given by News 24 -Today's Chanakya are 24 for the BJP and 17 for the ruling party in West Bengal. 

The numbers for India News-D-Dynamics are 21 for the BJP and 19 for the Trinamool while Republic Bharat-Matrize has given the BJP between 21 and 25 seats, predicting that Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's party will be reduced to between 16 and 20.

A poll by R Bangla has predicted a reversal of 2019, giving the BJP 22 seats and the Trinamool 18.

At least three other polls have, similarly, given BJP over 20 seats and a tally higher than Ms Banerjee's party.

The two outliers are TV 9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat, which has predicted 24 for the Trinamool Congress and 17 for the BJP, and News Nation, which has given 22 to Ms Banerjee's party and 19 to the ruling party at the Centre.

Most polls agree that the Congress will, at best, equal its performance in 2019, when it had won two seats. While Jan Ki Baat has predicted 0-2 constituencies for the party, the figure given by India News-D-Dynamics is 2 and Republic Bharat-Matrize has predicted between 0 and 1. The R Bangla poll says the party will fail to open its account in the state.

The exception here is ABP News-C Voter, which has predicted a range of 1 to 3.

While it is too early to say what worked in the BJP's favour, the party had made a major push in the state, dusting itself off after the huge defeat in the Assembly elections in 2021. It had also seen defections after winning only 77 of the 294 Assembly seats after setting itself a target of at least 200.

In its renewed push since then, the BJP has highlighted alleged corruption by the Trinamool Congress and has also accused the party and Ms Banerjee of appeasing Muslims. It was also handed a major issue earlier this year when some women in Sandeshkhali, a village near the Bangladesh border, accused a Trinamool strongman, Sheikh Shahjahan, and two of his aides of sexually assaulting them.

While the Trinamool denied the charges, saying there were "some issues" only of land grabbing, the BJP managed to make it a major election issue. If the exit polls are to be believed, even the videos showing a local BJP leader saying that the women were paid to make the sexual assault allegations did not dent the damage done to Ms Banerjee's party by the allegations.