With more security personnel than party workers, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s house and the street leading to her residence in South Kolkata’s Kalighat wore a deserted look on Thursday with counting trends for the Lok Sabha polls showing a big increase in the BJP’s numbers and a consequent decrease in the ruling party’s tally of seats.
Barring some workers who were celebrating party’s Kolkata South candidate Mala Roy’s huge about 1.5 lakh vote lead, the mood was sombre as many senior leaders gave the miss to their usual celebratory gathering at 30B Harish Chatterjee Street.
The trend of the election results showed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead on 18 seats, while the Trinamool was leading in 23 seats in West Bengal, as per the Election Commission website.
In the wake of the stunning performance of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections both at the Centre and her state, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her party would do a “complete review” of the vote outcome.
“We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed and the VVPATs matched,” Banerjee tweeted.
The Trinamool activists and supporters were clearly taken aback by the trends as they were expecting a repeat of the Trinamool’s performance five years back when it bagged 34 of the 42 seats in the state.
The handful of party workers were mostly reluctant to talk. A couple of them agreed to share their feelings only after lot of cajoling and coaxing.
“I am seeing what you are watching. Where are the top-rung leaders, the party workers, supporters and hangers-on? The entire area lacks the usual bustle what we had seen in 2016 Assembly polls and 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” said a local resident requesting anonymity.
Asked about the unusual scene at Harish Chatterjee Street, which generally remains choc a bloc with Trinamool supporters on vote counting day, one of 10-12 party workers who were seen lazing under a shed by the roadside said: “We cannot believe the overall results though Mala-di (Mala Roy) is winning with a record margin. We do not know how the exit-polls prediction matched with the election results.”
The various exit polls also forecast a massive increase in the BJP’s number of seats — from two in 2014 to between 16 and 18 in West Bengal. The party supporters, who chatted among themselves in hushed tones, were highly critical of the ‘anti-Mamata’ Left Front workers, for having “voted” for the saffron party.
Listing out a series of welfare schemes introduced by Banerjee and development projects undertaken by her government, a Trinamool worker said: “No one will be able to compete with Didi on what she has done for the state. CPI (M) voters who consider Mamata as their only opponent cast their votes in favour of the BJP. Otherwise, this results could not have happened.”