TMC MP Derek O’ Brien

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021: A day after phase one polling concluded in Assam and West Bengal, Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that the BJP would win a majority of seats that went to polls in both the states and form the next government there. In the first phase, 47 seats went to polls in Assam and 26 in West Bengal. Amit Shah said BJP will win 26 of 30 seats in West Bengal and 37 of 47 seats in Assam.

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“After discussions with booth level workers and party leaders, I can say out of 30 seats in West Bengal we will win more than 26 seats. We have got clear indications that BJP will win more than 37 seats out of 47 seats in Assam,” the Union Home Minister said during a press conference at his residence in Delhi. He further said that overall BJP will form government in West Bengal by winning over 200 seats.

Shah’s remarks evoked immediate response from senior TMC leader Derek O’Brien who called it a “mind game” which won’t work in Bengal. “Mind games won’t work, Mo-Sha (Modi-Shah). Try your seat prediction stunts at the Gujarat Gymkhana. This is Bengal. #KhelaHobe,” the TMC said.

In the early days of campaigning, a number of opinion polls predicted an edge for the TMC. However, the BJP has gradually picked up the pace and some polls now even suggest that it has marched ahead of the TMC. Of six surveys published on March 23 and 24, two have predicted an edge for TMC, two for BJP and two have projected hung assembly.

The BJP and TMC are locked in a heated exchange ever since the election campaign picked up steam in West Bengal. Top leaders from both the parties have stepped up their election campaign for what is now referred to as the most unpredictable election in the state’s history. In phase two scheduled to be held on April 1, Mamata Banerjee is pitted against her former cabinet colleague and now BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram.

Nandigram is the home turf of Suvendu, who has been sitting MLA since 2016. In the last election, Suvendu had cornered over 67 per cent votes and won the seat for TMC. Nandigram will vote in the second phase on April 1.

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