The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made big inroads into West Bengal’s western and northern parts, two relatively under-developed areas of the state.(ANI)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made big inroads into West Bengal’s western and northern parts, two relatively under-developed areas of the state.(ANI)

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Northern, western parts propel BJP show

Incidentally, these parts have been the focus areas of chief minister Mamata Banerjee ever since she took charge in 2011, and launched several projects aimed at developing infrastructure in these areas.
By Snigdhendu Bhattacharya and Tanmay Chatterjee | Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2019 08:18 AM IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made big inroads into West Bengal’s western and northern parts, two relatively under-developed areas of the state.

Incidentally, these parts have been the focus areas of chief minister Mamata Banerjee ever since she took charge in 2011, and launched several projects aimed at developing infrastructure in these areas.

Of the 18 Lok Sabha seats where the BJP was ahead or had already registered victories, as many as 13 were in the west and the north.

“The BJP’s clean sweep of north Bengal and the western region – despite the areas being in the focus of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s schemes for development – shows her populist schemes failed to negate the anti-incumbency created by TMC’s [ruling Trinamool Congress’s] factionalism and corruption, and the highhandedness of local leaders,” said political analyst Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chowdhury, a professor of political science at Kolkata’s Rabindra Bharati University.

The western region — an extension of the Chota Nagpur Plateau — was known as Bengal’s Maoist belt during 1998-2011. It turned into a bastion of the TMC after the ruling party managed to end the ultra-Left insurgency.

The BJP’s leads in north Bengal include both seats in Muslim-majority Malda district (Malda Uttar and Malda Dakshin) and the Raiganj seat in Muslim-majority North Dinajpur district.

“The BJP successfully managed to polarise the Hindus,” said political analyst Amal Mukhopadhyay, a former principal of Presidency College.

In north Bengal’s tea garden belt – spread over the constituencies of Alipurduars, Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri – people backed the BJP. Political analysts said growing grievances over the state government’s alleged inaction in helping the ailing gardens have cost the state’s ruling party.

TURNCOATS IN FRAY

While the BJP’s campaign strategy clearly struck a chord in Bengal, its decision to field candidates who defected to the party in the run-up to the elections yielded mixed results. Three of eight such candidates were on course for victory on Thursday, while another was locked in a close contest with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) nominee.

Nisith Pramanik, a former secretary of the TMC’s youth wing in Cooch Behar district, appeared set for a victory against ruling party candidate Paresh Chandra Adhikary in the Cooch Behar constituency.

In Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, who switched over from the TMC in mid-March and is seen as a “bahubali (strongman)”, was ahead in a nail-biter against sitting parliamentarian from the seat, Dinesh Trivedi.

Singh also managed to snatch victory for his son Pawan, who contested against the TMC’s candidate, Madan Mitra, in the Bhatpara assembly bypoll that was held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.

Saumitra Khan, who won Bishnupur in Bankura district on a TMC ticket in 2014 and joined the BJP on March 12, wasn’t allowed to enter the constituency by the Kolkata high court because he faced a criminal case in the district. He too was ahead in the race.

A former leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M), Khagen Murmu, made the best of the BJP surge in the Malda North seat. The three-time MLA from the region’s Habibpur assembly seat, too, joined the BJP on March 12.

“Mukul Roy, who left TMC and now decides BJP’s election strategy, will surely enjoy more importance... However, the turncoats benefited from discontent among TMC supporters over infighting, partisan leadership and violence in the panchayat polls,” said political commentator Suvashis Maitra.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Officials aware of developments said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for security at airports, held a meeting with officials of the external affairs ministry and the airport operator to discuss the modalities. (PTI photo).
Officials aware of developments said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for security at airports, held a meeting with officials of the external affairs ministry and the airport operator to discuss the modalities. (PTI photo).

Airports, stations gear up ahead of Modi oath taking

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2019 10:34 AM IST
Wednesday promises to be even busier for officials at the Indira Gandhi International airport with leaders of the BIMSTEC nations, Kyrgyzstan, and Mauritius expected to arrive for the swearing-in.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami during a dinner meeting with National Democratic Alliance leaders in New Delhi(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami during a dinner meeting with National Democratic Alliance leaders in New Delhi(PTI)

Vote split behind AIADMK-BJP alliance loss in Tamil Nadu

By MC Rajan & M Manikandan | Hindustan Times, Chennai
UPDATED ON MAY 28, 2019 07:46 AM IST
The DMK, led by former party chief Karunanidhi’s son, Stalin, swept the elections, winning 37 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats that polled last month.
Close
According to an official, Delhi government is focussing on high-rise buildings where coaching centres are functioning and inspecting whether these centres have functional firefighting equipments(HT Photo)
According to an official, Delhi government is focussing on high-rise buildings where coaching centres are functioning and inspecting whether these centres have functional firefighting equipments(HT Photo)

Delhi govt to shut down coaching centres operating above fourth floor

By Press Trust of India | New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 27, 2019 09:39 PM IST
The Delhi Fire Service director has been directed to “take strict action as per fire safety standards and guidelines to prevent recurrence of such accidents (Surat fire),” an official order issued by Home Minister Satyendar Jain said.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP President Amit Shah offers prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, during a visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP President Amit Shah offers prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, during a visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi(PTI)

‘All became Narendra Modi and led the campaign’: PM in Varanasi

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Varanasi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 08:40 PM IST
The PM underlined that such large support from across the country was made possible because people had faith in the ‘Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas’ approach of the BJP government.
Close
The TMC leadership also claimed that not a single BJP worker has been killed in the state in political violence.(ANI Photo)
The TMC leadership also claimed that not a single BJP worker has been killed in the state in political violence.(ANI Photo)

Trinamool dismisses PM’s allegations on killing of BJP workers in Bengal

By Press Trust of India | Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 11:07 PM IST
The TMC leadership also claimed that not a single BJP worker has been killed in the state in political violence.
Close
Addressing NC workers in Anantnag town Newly-elected MP Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference (NC)demanded immediate release of the youths without any blemish on their career so that they can rejoin the educational institutions(Twitter/@masoodi_hasnain)
Addressing NC workers in Anantnag town Newly-elected MP Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference (NC)demanded immediate release of the youths without any blemish on their career so that they can rejoin the educational institutions(Twitter/@masoodi_hasnain)

Free all youths unconditionally: NC MP

By Indo Asian News Service | Indo Asian News Service
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 06:25 PM IST
The NC winner from Anantnag alleged that hundreds, many juvenile, were arrested and locked up on mere suspicion by police after Musa’s killing.
Close
CM Ashok Gehlot intrect with media person at his residence in jaipur on Wednesday(HT)
CM Ashok Gehlot intrect with media person at his residence in jaipur on Wednesday(HT)

BSP says it will continue supporting Gehlot Govt

By Press Trust of India | Jaipur
PUBLISHED ON MAY 27, 2019 06:03 PM IST
BSP MLA Wajib Ali said that BSP’s will continue to support the Congress-led government in Rajasthan
Close
Prem Singh Tamang, popular as P S Golay, became the sixth chief minister of Sikkim when he was sworn in by governor Ganga Prasad at Gangtok’s Paljore stadium(Twitter/@amritdahal_09)
Prem Singh Tamang, popular as P S Golay, became the sixth chief minister of Sikkim when he was sworn in by governor Ganga Prasad at Gangtok’s Paljore stadium(Twitter/@amritdahal_09)

Sikkim gets new chief minister after 25 years, moves to five-day week

By Pramod Giri | Hindustan Times, Gangtok
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 06:18 PM IST
Immediately after being sworn in, the new chief minister declared a five-day week for the state government employees. Earlier, only the second Saturday of each month was a government holiday.
Close
The BJP’s landslide win in the parliamentary elections was also powered by its excellent showing in West Bengal.
The BJP’s landslide win in the parliamentary elections was also powered by its excellent showing in West Bengal.

‘BJP workers being killed for their ideology in Bengal’: PM Modi

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 05:46 PM IST
The BJP’s landslide win in the parliamentary elections was also powered by its excellent showing in West Bengal.
Close
Resignations of state Congress chiefs have started coming in with Punjab and Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) presidents Sunil Jakhar and Ajoy Kumar quitting their posts. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Resignations of state Congress chiefs have started coming in with Punjab and Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) presidents Sunil Jakhar and Ajoy Kumar quitting their posts. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

‘Don’t fall for rumours’: Congress on reports of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation

By HT Correspondent | New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 06:09 PM IST
Surjewala said the CWC saw the reverses in the Lok Sabha polls as an opportunity for radical changes and a complete organisational overhaul and authorised Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the necessary measures.
Close
To a query seeking details of income tax refunds of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it refused to share the information, saying it was exempted under the Right to Information Act(Hindustan Times)
To a query seeking details of income tax refunds of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it refused to share the information, saying it was exempted under the Right to Information Act(Hindustan Times)

PMO has no records of income tax refunds of former prime ministers

By Press Trust of India | New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 05:41 PM IST
To a query seeking details of income tax refunds of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it refused to share the information, saying it was exempted under the Right to Information Act.
Close
Siddaramaiah asserted that all Congress MLAs, including dissident leader Ramesh Jarkiholi, were with the party and nobody was leaving.
Siddaramaiah asserted that all Congress MLAs, including dissident leader Ramesh Jarkiholi, were with the party and nobody was leaving.

On Yeddyurappa’s prediction for Karnataka, Siddaramaiah responds with a dare

By HT Correspondent | Press Trust of India
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 06:23 PM IST
In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah said the people’s mandate was for continuation of the BJP-led government at the Centre and not for ‘toppling’ the state government.
Close
Ali Daruwalla, state coordinator and president of Muslim Rashtriya Manch(HT PHOTO)
Ali Daruwalla, state coordinator and president of Muslim Rashtriya Manch(HT PHOTO)

Muslims have shown confidence in Modi-led govt: Ali Daruwalla

By Nadeem Inamdar | Hindustan Times, Pune
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 04:57 PM IST
He is the state coordinator and president of Muslim Rashtriya Manch for western Maharashtra affiliated to the RSS
Close
PM Modi held a 5-km long roadshow as thanksgiving to the voters of Kashi(BJP / Twitter)
PM Modi held a 5-km long roadshow as thanksgiving to the voters of Kashi(BJP / Twitter)

Narendra Modi in Varanasi Highlights| ‘Every house had a Modi’: PM on BJP’s poll sweep

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2019 11:41 PM IST

After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on a thanksgiving visit on Monday.He marked his visit by offering prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple before heading to address party workers.Modi won the Varanasi parliamentary seat by a margin 4,79,505 votes, defeating his nearest rival Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.Follow highlights here:

Close
BJP nominee Girish Bapat’s win with a record margin of 3.24 lakh votes in Pune and substantial lead in all six constituencies, has increased the tension among Shiv Sena aspirants.(HT FILE)
BJP nominee Girish Bapat’s win with a record margin of 3.24 lakh votes in Pune and substantial lead in all six constituencies, has increased the tension among Shiv Sena aspirants.(HT FILE)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP’s rise in vote share in Pune dims Sena’s hopes of seat sharing

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Pune
UPDATED ON MAY 26, 2019 04:22 PM IST
BJP nominee Girish Bapat’s win with a record margin of 3.24 lakh votes in Pune and substantial lead in all six constituencies, has increased the tension among Shiv Sena aspirants  
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP