In a massive claim on Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that BJP will win 63-68 out of 91 seats that went to the polls in the first three phases of the West Bengal Assembly polls. A day earlier, TMC expressed confidence about its performance so far and challenged the saffron party to come close to its tally. After the completion of two phases of polling, Shah predicted that his party would win over 50 seats.
Addressing a rally, Amit Shah remarked, "The polling for three phases has been completed. And I will say this, BJP is winning 63-68 seats after three phases. And we will form the government". Speaking exclusively to Republic TV earlier in the day, the former BJP national president said, "The people of Bengal have decided that they are bringing about a change on May 2. BJP will form the government with over 200 seats".
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. Buoyed by its stupendous 2019 Lok Sabha performance, BJP is looking to oust TMC and is aiming at winning over 200 seats this time. While Congress was the second-largest party in 2016, it has tied with the Left and the Indian Secular Front founded by influential Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui.
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.
The voter turnout for the seats that went to the polls in the first, second and third phases was 84.63 per cent, 86.11 per cent and 84.61 per cent respectively. The polling for the remaining phases will take place on April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. The counting of votes shall take place on May 2.