Trinamool alliance set to sweep West Bengal
NEW DELHI THE Trinamool Congress-led alliance will oust — with a big margin — the Left Front which has ruled West Bengal for 34 continuous years, a Headlines Today-ORG postpoll survey predicted on Tuesday.
According to the survey, the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance will get two-thirds majority, winning 210 to 220 seats out of a total 294 seats in the state assembly.
The survey predicts just 65 to 70 seats for the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front.
The survey gives 10 to 15 seats to independents and other parties.
The counting for the sixphased polls, which ended Tuesday, will take place on May 13.
Meanwhile, defying a Maoist boycott and braving the scorching sun, over 83 percent of the 26 lakh-plus electorate voted amid massive security deployment in the sixth and final phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on Tuesday.
Voting was peaceful.
Voters, many of them tribals living in the jungle areas, lined up in long queues in front of booths from 7 am when the polling started and by 3 pm, the scheduled time for the polls to get over, 83.48 percent of votes were cast, according to officials.
On Tuesday, polling was held in 14 constituencies of three districts - West Midnapore (7), Purulia (4) and Bankura (3) - considered the hotbed of Maoist activities.
Tuesday’s polling brought to an end the staggered sixphase election for the 294- member assembly that began April 18 and covered around 70,000 polling booths spread across 19 districts over 88,752 sq km.
The total electorate was over 56 million.
Three helicopters provided aerial surveillance and over 100,000 security personnel, comprising central paramilitary troopers, crack units of the state police and commandos were deployed in the region.
“Till 3 pm, polling percentage was 83.48 percent.
Polling in West Midnapore was 85.31 percent, Purulia 76.80 percent and Bankura 84.50 percent,” state chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta told media persons.
Polling ended at 3 p.m., two hours earlier than the previous rounds, to enable officials to leave the area before daylight fades.
“The voting was peaceful.
A blast was heard near a forest in Gopiballavpur, but it turned out to be part of the training of air force personnel in Kalaikunda air base in the district,” said additional chief electoral officer NK Sahana.
A total of 13 people were arrested in West Midnapore for creating nuisance in polling booth premises, said Additional Superintendent of Police (headquarters) Sukesh Jain.
In Jhargram, five preventive arrests were made, said Additional Police Superintendent (Operation) Mukesh Kumar.
Polling in the area had posed the biggest challenge for the security forces and the election authorities.
Places like Salboni, Jhargram, Nayagram, Binpur, Joypur and Bandwan have witnessed shootings and killings related to rebel violence during the past two years.