In a major setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) has crossed the majority mark in West Bengal and is almost certain to retain the power in the state for the third straight time. As per the trends, the TMC is leading on 213 seats while the BJP is ahead on just 77 seats.
Meanwhile, in an unexpected development, Mamata lost the Nandigram seat to BJP's Suvendu Adhikari in a neck and neck fight. Banerjee lost to Adhikari by a narrow margin of 1736 votes.
"Don't worry about Nandigram, I struggled for Nandigram because I fought a movement. It's ok. Let the Nandigram people give whatever verdict they want, I accept that. I don't mind. We won more than 221 seats & BJP has lost the election," Banerjee said.
The BJP, buoyed by its success in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, was hoping to form its own government in the state for the first time since independence.
However, it looks the TMC would certainly retain power in the state. Earlier, the exit polls had predicted that a neck and neck battle between the BJP and TMC. The constituency has seen a direct contest between 'Didi' and her former ministerial colleague Adhikari, who had joined BJP in December last year.
It must be added here that Adhikari had pledged that he would quit politics if he did not defeat Mamata by 50,000 votes in Nandigram.