iconimg Sunday, March 29, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, May 16, 2014
Mamata Banerjee will likely expand her imprint on national politics as her party, the Trinamool Congress, led in as many as 31 of the state's 42 parliamentary seats after the first two hours of counting of votes on Friday. The Trinamool had bagged 19 seats in the 2009 elections.

Almost all of the party's gains have come at the expense of the Left parties, which led in just three seats. The Congress was ahead in three.

The BJP, which appeared headed to form the national government in New Delhi, was ahead in three seats in West Bengal, its best ever performance in a state where it has always been a fringe player.

Witnessing a three-cornered contest in most seats (Trinamool, Left and the BJP), the campaign in West Bengal has been rather colourful with Bollywood singers, Bengal film stars and sports personalities in the fray.

BJP's SS Ahluwalia was ahead of former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia of the Trinamool in the Darjeeling seat. BJP's candidate for the Asansol seat, Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo, was leading against Trinamool's Dola Sen.