Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 2 (ANI): Amid the ruling Trinamool Congress leading in 202 seats followed by the BJP which is leading on 82 as per trends, West Bengal Minister and TMC leader Firhad Hakim said he has always been telling that Mamata Banerjee will be the Chief Minister for the third time in a row.
He also said that the Left has vanished from the state due to its wrong policies.
Speaking to ANI, Hakim said, "I was always telling the press that Mamata Banerjee will be CM for the 3rd time. BJP tried their best to crack but they didn't succeed. The Left has now vanished from West Bengal due to their wrong policy of taking a communal force against a communal force."
Stating that secularism is needed to fight communal forces, he said that the TMC is committed to secularism and development and thereby fought the communal forces in the state.
"You've to be secular in fight against a communal force. That was done by TMC. We're committed to secularism, committed to development. We're committed to bringing the people together. We can't fight a communal battle against a communal force," said the TMC leader.
As the day progressed, the ruling Trinamool Congress seemed to have an advantage in the race as the Trinamool Congress is leading in 201 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 82 seats as per the initial trends.
The trends pointing towards TMC crossing the halfway mark in the state having 294 assembly seats.
The counting of votes in the state has begun on Sunday at 8 am following the COVID-19 protocol.
However, the early trends also showed that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is trailing from the Nandigram seat.
292 seats went to the polls in the 294-member West Bengal Assembly. Polling in two constituencies was deferred due to the death of contestants.
Bengal witnessed a fierce contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP across eight phases. The Samyukta Morcha comprising the Congress, Left parties and ISF has also tried to put up a strong fight. The BJP has made a concerted attempt to dislodge the TMC.
The Election Commission has made necessary arrangements for counting. The counting is taking place amid an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Several surveys gave an edge to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). In West Bengal, all exit polls predicted that the BJP would make major inroads and a few also said that the party would emerge victorious.
Times Now-C voter exit poll predicted 158 seats for TMC, 115 for BJP and 19 for others. ABP-C Voter predicted TMC to get 152-164 seats, BJP 109-121 seats and Left-Congress alliance 14-25 seats.
According to Republic-CNX exit poll, BJP with 138-148 seats has an edge over TMC which is predicted to get 128-138 seats.
As per India TV- People's Pulse, BJP is expected to get 173-192 seats while TMC will be reduced to 64-88 seats and Left-Congress alliance will get 7-12 seats.
Axis My India predicted a hung assembly in Bengal with the ruling TMC expected to get 130-156 seats and BJP 134-160 seats. (ANI)