The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has astonished the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal.
Not only is it leading in 18 Lok Sabha seats out of 42 seats in Bengal but is also on its way to win four out of the 8 assembly bypolls held in the state. Data on the Election Commission’s website suggests that BJP is leading on four seats in the assembly bypolls while TMC is behind on 3.
Bypolls in West Bengal were held Bhatpara, Darjeeling, Habibpur, Islampur, Kandi, Krishnaganj, Nowda and Uluberia Purba.
The Bengal bypolls make it clear that the power equation may be transforming in Bengal, with BJP completely replacing the CPI(M) as the main opposition.
The outcome of both the bypolls and Lok Sabha elections in the state should act as an eye-opener for Mamata Banerjee and TMC party members who were confident of winning the elections in Bengal with ease.
On the other hand, what the BJP achieved today was touted as impossible by some people in the state months before the Lok Sabha elections had started.
Now, as the final innings of the election season are about to conclude, a totally different outcome has emerged.
Only time will tell if Mamata Banerjee can successfully protect her fortress in West Bengal from the Modi wave, which for a second time in five years, echoed across most Indian states.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the BJP, following which party president Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat and even congratulated PM Modi and his party for the major victory.
The Modi-led NDA government is expected to secure a thumping victory and improve its tally from 2014; it is expected to win more than 300 seats-something that BJP president Amit Shah had confidently said just before the exit polls were announced.