The Bharatiya Janata Party will have its first ever chief minister in West Bengal on May 3, when the results for the assembly election are expected to be declared, BJP MP Tejasvi Surva has promised, adding the party will win at least 200 of the Trinamool-ruled state's 294 seats.
"BJP will win more than 200 seats in West Bengal. (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee's days as a chief minister are numbered. On the 3rd of May, West Bengal will have a BJP chief minister," Mr Surya was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"This is the legacy of the communists which Mamata Banerjee has carried forward but there will be no more bloodshed and political murder politics in West Bengal because BJP will have its chief minister," he added.
Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the party will win much more than 200 seats as they had begun preparing for the elections five years ago, when Ms Banerjee had retained power with a massive mandate.
"We will not get less than 200 (seats). It will definitely be more than 200. We did not begin preparations today, we had started five years back," Mr Ghosh said.
Talking about the party's preparations, he said, "We have proceeded phase-wise, we all saw results in the Lok Sabha elections, and we are going ahead with the mantra of '19 mein half, 21 mein saaf' (half seats in 2019, clean sweep in 2021," he added.
West Bengal assembly elections will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29 – the longest ever. While announcing the dates for the elections last week, the Election Commission had hinted that the polls in Bengal were spread over a month because of fears of political violence. Questioning the rationale behind the decision, Mr Banerjee had alleged that it was done at the insistence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the BJP's main poll campaigner.
Bengal will witness a triangular fight this time. The BJP, which had won 18 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, has expanded its footprints in the state, which had been a Trinamool vs Left battlefield for several years.