All set to win over the BJP in state elections that were held over the past two months as covid cases surged in India, Mamta Bannerjee is in upbeat mood. The Trinamool is projected to win 205 of Bengal’s 294 seats, according to NDTV’s forecast. The BJP is likely to settle for 75-85.
Mamata Banerjee emerged today for the first time without her wheelchair – which became a constant in her campaign after she suffered a leg injury in Nandigram on March 10 – and said to celebrating party workers: “All of you who have gathered here, I want to thank you all. You all have worked very hard.”
Stating that she would speak to the media later, she added: “This has been Bengal’s big win. Till I address the press, I appeal to you all to go home and take a shower, sanitise well and maintain social distance from others. Please do not crowd around and indulge in celebrations.”
The Bengal leads are a huge blow for the BJP, which staked its top leaders, resources and formidable election machinery in Bengal, determined to snatch the key state from two-time Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah addressed 51 rallies in 50 days.
“Khela Hobe (game on),” became the Trinamool’s catch phrase for these elections as it faced the BJP’s mighty election machinery, supported by Trinamool defectors who have been crossing over to the BJP over the past few years. The BJP countered by saying “Khela shesh (game over)” – but that will now come back to haunt the party.
PM Modi, top BJP leaders and Mamata Banerjee held crowded campaigns where safety rules like masks and distancing were discarded.
In a campaign that often pushed the limits of decorum, both the Trinamool and the BJP exchanged bitter allegations and personal attacks.
The Trinamool took strong exception to PM Modi’s repeated taunts at Mamata Banerjee, embellished with the phrase “Didi o Didi”.