Counting in 292 assembly seats in West Bengal is underway. The bastion of Trinamool is where the stiffest fight has taken place in this election season. According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, BJP is likely to win 134-160 seats, while Mamata Banerjee's TMC is likely to win 130-156 seats.
A phase-wise analysis of the elections showed that BJP gained momentum in the early phases. However, it lost out in the latter phases. In the first two phases BJP secured around 45 and 46 per cent votes, while in phase five and six it received 46 and 44 per cent votes respectively. However, in phase seven and eight, it secured 40 and 37 per cent votes.
TMC, slow to start, picked up pace in the latter phases.
West Bengal saw a fierce fight between TMC and BJP. Violence erupted in polling booths between workers of both the parties, resulting in multiple deaths.
The eight-phased elections in West Bengal come at a time when the country is struggling with a devastating second wave of coronavirus. Many parties scaled down or cancelled their rallies in view of the rising number of cases. The Election Commission that was blasted by the Madras High Court over its election schedules across Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu had asked its observers and poll officers to strictly enforce its updated norms on COVID-19 safe campaigning. It asked them to cancel public meetings and rallies and invoke penal provisions if violations are observed.
BJP on Saturday asked its party workers to strictly follow Election Commission guidelines prohibiting victory procession after the counting of votes. "India is suffering from a dangerous phase of Covid-19. Lakhs of people are getting infected. The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working hard to help fellow Indians and to defeat the second wave of coronavirus," said BJP general secretary Arun Singh in a letter.