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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Sleuths predict end of Didi’s Delhi plans

Soumen Datta , Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 27, 2014
First Published: 00:32 IST(27/4/2014) | Last Updated: 02:07 IST(27/4/2014)

None other than the state intelligence branch of West Bengal Police – working directly under chief minister Mamata Banerjee – predicted that the Trinamool Congress would win only 18-22 seats against its target of 30 seats.

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The report also predicted that a lot of voters might move from the ruling TMC to the BJP and Left camps resulting in a 2% to 3% swing. This could end the TMC boss’ plan to emerge as the third largest party in the Lok Sabha to play the kingmaker.

And the winners – in real terms – will be fringe-player BJP with four seats. While the Left parties may not lose much of its already shrunk kitty of 15 seats. The Congress also has reasons to be happy, as its primary target is to retain its six seats.

The report, compiled before the ED probe into the Saradha chit fund scam is now being revised, as it may turn out to be a game changer in the elections.

What’s more worrying for the TMC chief may be the prediction that the BJP may secure 15-16% of the total votes. The party managed a mere 6% in 2009, while it won the lone Darjeeling seat with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s backing.

If the BJP’s vote-share crosses 15% and the party manages to grab power at the Centre, it may pose a serious challenge to the TMC in the 2016 assembly polls.

The report said the four BJP winners may be SS Ahluwalia (Darjeeling), Satyabrata Mukherjee (Krishnanagar), Babul Supriyo (Asansol) and Tapan Sikdar (Dum Dum).

According to the report, some of the probable losers from the TMC camp are prominent sitting MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay (North Kolkata), Satabdi Roy (Birbhum), Tapas Pal (Krishnanagar), Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Barasat) and Prasun Banerjee (Howrah).

It also predicted that the TMC might have to face tough fights in the Jadavpore, Diamond Harbour and Serampore seats.

Earlier, the 23-man team that worked for three months on the current report also predicted the outcome of the 2011 assembly. It gave the Trinamool 180 to 185 seats, while the party eventually won 184 seats.

Additional director general, intelligence branch, Banibrata Basu, who heads the intelligence branch, however, refused to comment on the report submitted to the home secretary last week.


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