IF ONE drives from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, one will not find a Congress MP in over dozen of States. The party has scored a nil in 18 States and Union Territories in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress losers include eight Chief Ministers and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha. Among the big states, there are zero Congress MPs in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha. The smaller states which will not send a single Congress MP are: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Uttarakhand.
Apart from these, the Congress has no presence in Andaman and Nicobar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura. The Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, lost from Kalaburgi in Karnataka. The party had fielded several former Chief Ministers in Lok Sabha battle and all of them lost. The list includes former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, Digvijay Singh, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Harish Rawat, Mukul Sangma, Bhupinder Hooda and Verrappa Moily from Chikkballur in Karnataka.
Barring Kerala where Congress won 15 seats, the party has not reached double figures, the closes being eight each in Punjab and Tamil Nadu. The party’s tally could not reach or surpass 2 in Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, MP, Maharashtra and Karnataka among big States. Its all-India tally is likely to remain below 50 at 49. This is the second successive Lok Sabha polls when the party got less than 50.
West Bengal sees BJP surge
WEST Bengal seems to be headed for a BJP surge, with the BJP leading in 18 seats and the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) ahead in 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State. The Congress is leading in one Lok Sabha seat, while the Left is yet to take a lead in any of the constituencies. In the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, the TMC has 34 seats in West Bengal, whereas the BJP has only two.
The Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left Front have four and two seats respectively. Congratulating the winners, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called for a complete review of the results. “Congratulations to the winners. But all losers are not losers. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs match,” she tweeted. BJP’s national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said the trends show that the days of “TMC’s misrule is numbered in Bengal”. “The initial trends reflect the anti-TMC mood. Despite so much terror in Bengal, the people have reposed faith in BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
The days of TMC’s misrule are numbered in Bengal,” Vijayvargia said. As per the current EC trends, the TMC has so far secured 44.61 per cent votes, closely followed by the BJP, which has bagged 39.03 per cent votes. The CPI(M) and the Congress have garnered a meagre 6.66 per cent and 5.44 per cent share of the pie respectively. In Asansol, Union minister Babul Supriyo is leading by 75971 votes against Moon Moon Sen of the TMC. S S Ahluwalia, another Union minister and BJP candidate from Burdwan-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat, is leading by 23444 votes against Mamtaz Sanghamita of the TMC. Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, is leading by 148834 votes in Diamond Harbour constituency.
He is the sitting MP from the seat. In Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, BJP candidate Raju Bista is leading by 175535 votes against Amar Singh Rai of the TMC. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh is leading by 5051 votes against Manas Ranjan Bhunia of the TMC in Medinipur. In Barrackpore seat, TMC candidate Dinesh Trivedi is trailing by 5221 votes against BJP’s Arjun Singh. In Malda North seat, BJP’s Khagen Murmu is leading by 1789 votes against Mausam Noor of the AITC. In Kolkata North constituency, two-time TMC MP from the seat, Sudip Bandopadhyay, is leading by 22034 votes against Rahul Sinha of the BJP. In Jangipur Lok Sabha seat, Khalilur Rahman of the TMC is leading by 113845 votes against BJP’s Mafuja Khatun.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit, who had won the seat by a narrow margin of 8,161 votes in the 2014 general elections, is now trailing the third position. In Ghatal Lok Sabha seat, TMC candidate and popular actor Dipak Adhikari (Dev) is leading by 36003 votes against former IPS officer and BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh. In the prestigious Kolkata South seat, TMC’s Mala Roy is leading by a margin of over four lakh votes against BJP’s Chandra Kumar Bose, grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. In Hooghly Lok Sabha seat, BJP’s Locket Chatterjee is leading by 65,727 votes against Ratna De Nag of the AITC. In Purulia, Jyotirmay Singh Mahato of the BJP is leading by 62719 votes against Mriganka Mahato of the TMC.