Speaking exclusively to Republic TV's Political Editor Aishwarya Kapoor on Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah opined that PM Modi's popularity will play a key role in the West Bengal Assembly polls. Participating in a roadshow in Debra two days ahead of the big Nandigram battle, Shah exuded confidence in BJP's Suvendu Adhikari trouncing WB CM Mamata Banerjee. He credited the hard work of BJP workers for the party gradually gaining acceptance in the state where it had a negligible presence until a few years ago.
Repeating his assertion that the JP Nadda-led party will form the government in WB by winning more than 200 seats, he opined that the people of the state crave for a "Sonar Bangla". He also weighed in the peaceful conduct of elections to 30 seats in the first phase of the Assembly polls on March 27. The ex-BJP president thanked the Election Commission for making adequate arrangements in this regard.
Commenting on the huge crowds gracing his roadshow, Union Home Minister Amit Shah remarked, "This is the situation across Bengal. The people of Bengal want Poriborton. They seek the formation of Sonar Bangla under the leadership of Modiji." Lauding the first phase of polling, he said, "The Election Commission has made very good arrangements. I want to thank the Election Commission as the voting took place without violence after many years".
Mamata Banerjee-led TMC had swept the 2016 Assembly polls by bagging 211 seats in the 294-member Assembly. In West Bengal, 294 seats are up for grabs and people will be able to cast their votes at 1,01,916 polling stations. The voter turnout for the 30 seats that went to the polls in the first phase was 84.63%. The polling for the remaining phases will take place on April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. The counting of votes shall take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference on March 5, WB CM Mamata Banerjee announced the list of 291 TMC candidates while leaving three seats for the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for the Assembly election. The list includes 50 women candidates, 79 Scheduled Caste candidates, 17 Scheduled Tribes candidates and 42 Muslim candidates. On the other hand, BJP's candidate list includes prominent leaders such as Suvendu Adhikari, Union Minister Babul Supriyo, three other Lok Sabha MPs, ex-nominated MP Swapan Dasgupta, Mukul Roy and Rahul Sinha.