Kolkata: If the exit polls are a anything to go by, the main opposition in West Bengal, once the citadel of Left parties for decades, will soon be the BJP.
With BJP's national president Amit Shah setting a target of winning more than 23 parliamentary seats in Bengal, the exit poll results on Sunday clearly show that the vote share of BJP in Bengal has gone up substantially. The India Today exit poll predicted that the BJP will get 19 to 23 seats this time around. It had only two Lok Sabha seats from the state till now.
The exit poll of this channel has given the ruling Trinamool Congress 19 to 22 seats as against their present 34.
The fierce contest in West Bengal was reflected in the voter turnout, which was the highest in the country in this election.
Just eight years after TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress brought the Left Front government's 34 years of uninterrupted rule to a dramatic end, it seems the BJP's stars are on the ascent in the state now.
While the Nielson's exit poll gave the BJP 16 and TMC 24 seats, the Republic TV gave the saffron camp 11 to TMC's 29 seats.
This is remarkable for the BJP, which is still a work in progress in the state. The party does not have much of an organisation in the state, nor sufficient candidates from its own ideological pool. For many constituencies, it was depending on disgruntled persons and turncoats from other parties to be its candidates. Across the state, the party's offices are just coming up.
According to party sources, BJP's senior leader Mukul Roy was instrumental in increasing the vote share of the saffron camp.
Talking to Onmanorama, Bengal observer and BJP's national secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said even if the results go worst the saffron camp is sure to win 20 parliamentary seats in Bengal and 300 nationally.
Dubbing exit polls "gossip", West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said she doesn't trust such exercise as the "game plan" is to use them for "manipulation" of EVMs.
Most exit polls forecast a majority for the ruling BJP-led NDA in Lok Sabha elections with varying numbers, as the seven-phased democratic exercise ended on Sunday.